Man City started negotiations with €25m-rated ex-Arsenal midfielder

Pep Guardiola has contacted Milan star Ismael Bennacer with Man City primed to launch a €50m bid. The 22-year-old midfielder has resurrected his career in Serie A after he failed to make the grade during two years at Emirates with the Gunners.

Indeed, Ismael played only a solitary senior match during a League Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday before Bennacer was loaned out to Tours by Arsene Wenger. Bennacer subsequently moved to and excelled at Empoli last campaign and earned himself a move to Milan where he has enjoyed another reputation enhancing season, despite Rossoneri’s struggles.

Man City are on the brink of surrendering their PL trophy to Liverpool, and although their spending power might be limited this summer, the Spanish coach is already making plans to rebuild a squad capable of challenging Jurgen Klopp’s relentless winning machine.

Pep Guardiola has already spoken to Algeria international and outlined his vision for the footballer, who could team up with his compatriot Riyad Mahrez at the Etihad Stadium.

Despite failing to make an impact at Emirates, the Algerian star harbours no ill-feeling towards his ex-club and earlier this week credited the likes of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla with having a major impact on his career.

‘I arrived in Premier League in July 2015, then stayed in a hotel for the first two months because I didn’t want to live with a family I didn’t know,’ he said. ‘I was 17 years old and couldn’t live on my own, so my sister came to live with me, then the girl I’d been dating since school who in England would go on to become my wife.’