Man City and Atletico set to battle for Atalanta wonderkid

FT Desk
  • FT Desk
  • 23 Sep 2022 07:59 BST
  • 3 min read
FT Desk 23 Sep 2022 07:59 BST 3 min read
Giorgio Scalvini in action for Atalanta

Manchester City and Atletico Madrid are in a dead heat to sign Italian wonderkid Giorgio Scalvini from Atalanta.

Scalvini is an 18-year-old centre-back who has been likened to Alessandro Bastoni and made his full Italy debut alongside the Inter Milan man against Germany in the UEFA Nations League in June.

A hulking 6'4" defender who is in the 99th percentile for a range of stats on both side of the ball already in Serie A, Scalvini has understandably attracted interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs.

Atletico Madrid made a bid for the player ranked at just €5 million by Football Transfers in-house algorithm this summer, but it was rejected, with Atalanta keen to hold onto their young star.

But now Manchester City could be set to prise the young star away from the Gewiss Stadium.

Guardiola keeping tabs

"Los Colchoneros are still interested in the Italian central defender," write Catalan sports daily Sport. "But now they have strong competition: the footballer has also aroused the interest of Pep Guardiola."

Man City may appear to be spoiled for choice in central defence, with Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte in their ranks, while Kyle Walker plays right of a back three for England.

But Laporte has undergone surgery after a knee injury and Walker would rather be used at right-back in Pep's preferred 4-3-3 formation.

City even moved to acquire Manuel Akanji this summer in a €17.2m deal from Borussia Dortmund. The Swiss, whilst a serviceable centre-back, had fallen behind Mats Hummels, Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Sule at the Signal Iduna Park.

Scalvini would therefore be a significant upgrade for their squad.

He would also only cost a nominal fee, with the 18-zear-old out of contract with Atalanta in June 2023.

Scalvini would become the first Italian to play for Man City since Mario Balotelli, who assisted Sergio Aguero's Premier League-winning goal in 2012 before lurching off the rails.

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