Fabian Delph, Aston Villa captain and Tim Sherwood's star man, could be on the move despite recently penning a new deal, according to reports.
The Daily Mail claims that the Villa man has an £8million release clause in his contract that is said to be of interest to Manchester City, who will be looking for a home-grown player to replace the departed James Milner.
In order to comply with Financial Fair Play and league registration rules teams have to have a designated number of home-grown players registered within their squad.
Milner departing City for Liverpool means that Manuel Pellegrini will need to fill the gap in his squad with another home-grown player, or promote from within and bring a youngster through from their academy.
In recent times it was thought that City would strongly pursue Liverpool star Raheem Sterling, and they've already reportedly had two bids for the winger rejected this summer.
The fee that is being circulated means City would have to pay close to £50m to capture Sterling, and if he were to join he would have a lot of competition in the squad given the strength City have in their attacking arsenal.
In terms of strikers Sergio Aguero has the main role secured and then they have Wilfried Bony, Stevan Jovetic and Eden Dzeko as back up.
David Silva has the attacking midfield role tied up and would be one of the first names on the team sheet whereas in the wide positions they have the option of using Silva, Samir Nasri and Jesus Nava, as well as moving the versatile Aleksander Kolarov forward into a more attacking role.
Middle of the park more sensible
A move for Delph would seem more logical as the central midfield role is an area City could do with freshening up. Yaya Toure is ageing and may not even be at the club next season. His form declined last term and another full season could see him fall off in the latter stages again.
Fernandinho is currently City's answer to Chelsea's Ramires with regards to a powerful, tough-tackling midfielder. Fernando has had a mixed time at the Etihad since joining and could be one of the players moved on this summer, whilst Delph would bring a younger energy to the City midfield and alongside Toure, providing he stays, could orchestrate the play and protect a often nervous City back four.
The news of Delph's supposed release clause will also alert the rest of the top four and there could also be interest from Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal. Each could do with an addition to the centre of midfield, especially if that player will protect their defence.
Villa however will be reluctant to let one of their star players go, particular as fellow key assets Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar are both being linked with moves away from the Birmingham-based side.
The move could help Delph's international career and help him secure a spot as an England regular as he would be playing in a title-challenging team and would be playing int the Champions League alongside the world's best stars, making it appear probable that he would want the switch.
City fans, is Delph what you need at this moment in time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.
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