April 18, 2017
Atletico Madrid centre-back Diego Godin has revealed Manchester City tried to bring him to the Etihad Stadium in 2015.
The Uruguay international is one of the standout defenders in the game and has been a crucial part of Atletico’s frequent challenges for La Liga and UEFA Champions League crowns. Former City boss Manuel Pellegrini was reportedly keen to add Godin to the base of his side.
“It’s true that two years ago, City wanted me when [Pellegrini] was there,” he told the Daily Mail (h/t James Robson of the Manchester Evening News). “I’m proud that he wanted me, but I feel like just another fan of this club. I’m very happy here. I didn’t feel that it was the moment to leave.”
As noted in the report, Godin had worked with Pellegrini in the past, having been signed by the coach for Villarreal. Here’s a reminder of why he is so highly rated:
City have had issues at centre-back that Godin could have resolved. The club has spent big money on Eliaquim Mangala, Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones in recent seasons, although the team still remain brittle in their defensive duties whenever their skipper, Vincent Kompany, is absent.
Godin’s defensive quality, aggressiveness and leadership would make a massive difference to not only City, but almost every team in the game. It’s no surprise that Atletico have done their utmost to keep the defender around down the years.
City have not looked secure at the back for a while.Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images
Per the Champions League Twitter feed, the 31-year-old continues to be a crucial part of the team at the highest level:
Champions League @ChampionsLeague
Atlético have kept 6 clean sheets in the 8 #UCL games Diego Godín has started this season. 💪 https://t.co/mHa2mLwRuv
4/18/2017, 12:24:43 PM
Although they’ve spent so much in trying to resolve their issues at the back, it’s a facet of the squad City will surely look to address once again in the window.
Godin would be a dream signing for Pep Guardiola’s side and a player whose qualities align well with English football. But the Uruguayan looks content with life at Atletico and will know he’s in a great setting to challenge for the biggest honours in the game.
Jordan Pickford Warning
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images
Sunderland manager David Moyes has warned the club’s prodigious goalkeeper Jordan Pickford about the risks of moving to a club like Manchester City
Pickford has reportedly caught the eye of Guardiola after some impressive displays for the Premier League’s bottom club this term. But Moyes believes the 23-year-old needs to be at a team where he will play every week.
“What Jordan can’t afford is a year not playing,” he said, per Ciaran Kelly of the Manchester Evening News. “It would be a backward step if he wasn’t going to be a No.1 keeper. I don’t think it would do him any good at all if he was to spend a season as a No. 2.”
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Despite his cautious words, Moyes went on to suggest that Pickford “is good enough to play for just about any club” once he adds “more maturity” to his game. Former Sunderland goalkeeper David Preece is a big fan:
David Preece @davidpreece12
Class from Pickford, kept quite high up in his 6 yard but kept low to turn it away #SUNMNU
4/9/2017, 1:00:15 PM
David Preece @davidpreece12
#MOTD2 should just show the two goals and a reel of Jordan Pickford pinging balls in to his teammates tonight.
4/9/2017, 2:07:01 PM
Indeed, while Sunderland have been miserable in 2016-17, Pickford has been a bright spot alongside veteran goalscorer Jermain Defoe. The youngster was recently recognised for his excellent performances with a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
Arguably, Pickford would stand a decent chance of starting for City, with neither Claudio Bravo nor Willy Caballero impressing so far this season. However, a move to the Etihad this summer would represent a massive change for the Sunderland man and arguably too much of a leap.