Homegrown rule putting Manchester City under pressure to buy English players

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City in the market for homegrown talent

Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are expected to be active in the transfer market this summer, with the Premier League champions looking to recruit three new faces.

Last summer was a fairly quiet one for them with just Riyad Mahrez coming in for a club record fee from Leicester City. The Algerian scored some important goals which helped his new club win four of the five competitions they were involved in.

City won every trophy on offer last season barring that elusive first Champions League title and Pep will know that he needs a big squad if they're to go on and improve on their magnificent 18/19 campaign.

He's already been busy, with his first signing expected to arrive imminently in the form of Atletico Madrid man Rodri, who's expected to cost in the region of €70m and looks like the perfect long term replacement for Fernandinho.

The 23 year-old has been tracked by Pep for some time and he adds class and solidity to a key area of the pitch, something they can lack at times when Fernandinho is out.

Rodri Atletico Madrid
Rodri looks set to be Manchester City's first signing of the season

The Spaniard looks like a class signing but he could potentially be their final overseas/foreign import due to Premier League rules.

These rules state that every club in the top flight must reserve 8 spaces in their 25-man squad for homegrown players over the age of 21.

As it stands, Manchester City have just four on their books at the moment in John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker and Fabian Delph which meant that last year, City could only use a 21 man squad.

But with the latters future looking uncertain under Guardiola, if he was to move on then City's squad for the upcoming Premier League season would be reduced to just 20. Far from ideal when looking to defend the their title and win another four competitions.

Where does this leave City?

At the moment with Delph still a Manchester City player, this isn't a problem but Pep will be keen to ensure that he has as many players available in his squad as possible.

Their expected purchase of Rodri would take up one of the foreign spots available in their squad following the departure of captain Vincent Kompany. But if Pep is wishing to add more overseas talent to his squad then he will need to offload more foreign players, so it's a pretty tight ship at City at the moment.

But the homegrown situation all looks like it hinges on Delph's future. If he stays at City then they'll be able to utilise a 21 man squad like last season, although Guardiola would obviously like to increase that.

But the only way for him to do so is increasing City's homegrown quota. This could be why he's reportedly considering smashing the clubs transfer record to bring in Leicester City and England defender Harry Maguire.

Harry Maguire England
Moving for Maguire makes sense for a couple reasons, he'd be a great replacement for Vincent Kompany and he'd add an extra spot onto their Premier League Squad - but he'll come at a price

The Foxes are rumoured to be demanding a figure that would eclipse the £75m paid by Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk and his arrival would kill two birds with one stone. City would have their Vincent Kompany replacement and he'd fit the homegrown quota, which means that they'd be able to use a 22 man squad in the Premier League next season.

A move for Maguire would require astronomical figures but this isn't a surprise. There's something of a tax on English, international level players. Top clubs are fighting for the best homegrown players both for matters on the pitch and off it. The majority of sides in the big six are built up by overseas stars so if you want a top English player, you've got to pay.

And the selling clubs are more than aware of how they can exploit this rule which is why we're seeing moves like Manchester United's £50m potential deal for Crystal Palace's Aaron Wan-Bissaka. City are one of the biggest spenders in European football but they are shrewd to an extent, their club record signing of Riyad Mahrez was *just* £60m, which puts them below United, Chelsea and Liverpool - but any move for Maguire would see that change drastically.

Yes City need homegrown talent, but do they need to be English?

The homegrown rule does offers flexibility to clubs in some aspects. Yes you need a certain number of them in your squad, but they don't necessarily have to be English.

Players who are homegrown also can be foreign, but they need to have spent at least three seasons training at a professional English or Welsh club before the age of 21. In the past we've seen players such as Cesc Fabregas and Gael Clichy fit this criteria which made them even more valuable to their clubs.

City don't currently have an overseas player on their books who fits in with this rule but they could do soon, with them linked with a move for former left-back Angelino.

Angelino PSV
The signing of Angelino could be a clever one for a number of reasons, especially for just £6m

The Spaniard is currently playing for PSV Eindhoven and after impressing in his debut season in the Eredivise, he's been linked with a big money move to PSG. But City crucially have a buy-back clause in his contract which would allow them to bring him back for just £6m - pocket change for the Premier League Champions.

Despite never making a Premier League appearance for the Citizens, Angelino spent five years on the books at the City Football Academy and he could represent one of the summers shrewdest signings.

He would add an extra spot onto the squad as he's homegrown and he'd add strength in a problem area of the pitch. Benjamin Mendy is the clubs only real recognised left-back and he's been superbly deputised by Oleksandr Zinchenko, the arrival of Angelino would add extra back-up and at £6m, he's well worth the money.

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