Manchester City Transfer Rumor: European Champions Tracking French Youngster Also Wanted By Premier League Rival

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

Premier League holders Manchester City are reportedly keeping tabs on Nantes left-back. City’s domestic rivals West Ham United are also believed to be interested in Merlin’s services.

Manchester City & PSG Are Among Many Teams Tracking Merlin

According to a report by 90min, Nantes’ adventurous left-back Merlin is a hot topic in Europe, with multiple teams showing interest in him. Last season’s Treble winners Manchester City are one of the top teams looking to add Merlin to their ranks.

Merlin, who is equally comfortable playing as a left-back and a left-midfielder, has been in impressive form since breaking into the first team in the 2021-22 season. The 21-year-old, who has been at Nantes all his life, has played 74 games thus far for the club in all competitions, scoring thrice and providing six assists. So far, he has won one piece of silverware with Nantes — Coupe de France in 2022.

Judging strictly by his profile, Merlin shares a lot of traits with Manchester City man Sergio Gomez. But City remain interested in adding Merlin, who is expected to earn his France senior-team call-up soon, to their star-studded roster. As per the aforementioned source, City recently sent scouts to check the player in action.

City’s Premier League rivals West Ham United have also been credited with an interest in the player. Like the Cityzens, the Hammers, too, have sent scouts to get a detailed report on the player.

Of course, City and West Ham are not the only teams interested in adding the Nantes man to their squad. Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, Napoli, Lyon, and Celtic are also monitoring the situation closely.

Merlin Considered Leaving Nantes For A Splitsecond

In an interview during the summer transfer window, Merlin admitted he was considering leaving Nantes for a second, as he wanted to compete in the Olympics. However, he quickly changed his mind and stayed put in Nantes.

He said (via Football365):

It’s important to keep your head and not get turned by the transfer speculation. I feel I owe Nantes because last season I suffered with a big injury and I still have a lot to learn in football and at the club.

I also know the Olympics are coming up and I would love to play for France in that. And I did ask myself a question of whether I would have a better chance of doing that elsewhere. But I quickly came to my senses. I plan to play all this season with Nantes.”

Merlin’s contract with Nantes expires in June 2026. According to Transfermarkt, his current market value stands at a cool €10 million ($10.75 million), but the Ligue 1 side are unlikely to sell him for such a low price.

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