Manchester City identify Celta Vigo starlet Gabri Veiga after giving up on Declan Rice

Manchester City have shifted their focus to Celta Vigo playmaker Gabri Veiga after failing in their pursuit of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.


Declan Rice is set to join Arsenal after Manchester City pulled out of the race. The Gunners have agreed a deal in principle with West Ham worth £105million— £100million in guaranteed cash plus add-ons. At one stage it seemed that they could miss out on the England international, though.

Manchester City entered the race for Rice’s signature and even put a £90m bid on the table. However, West Ham rejected it as they wanted a guaranteed fee in the north of £100million. And once they learnt of Rice’s preference to join Mikel Arteta’s side, Man City swiftly withdrew their interest.

Having lost Rice to Arsenal, Man City have reportedly identified Gabri Veiga as a potential option to bolster their midfield unit. The Treble-winners are exploring a move for the Celta Vigo midfielder, who is also on the radar of Chelsea and Liverpool.

Veiga, 21, had a fantastic breakout season in La Liga, where he established himself as a regular starter for Celta Vigo. The Spanish under-21 international caught the eye with 11 goals and four assists in 36 league games from midfield for Celta. His notable performance came in the last game of the season, where the youngster scored a brace in a 2-1 win over Barcelona to secure safety for Celta.

Man City step up interest in Gabri Veiga

Man City have lost their captain Ilkay Gundogan as he will officially depart after seven glittering years when his contract expires at the end of the month and join Barcelona on a free transfer. Gundogan, 32, has been such a vital player for Pep Guardiola’s City, delivering so many crucial moments in the biggest games throughout his seven-year stay at the Etihad Stadium.

Losing the German midfielder is a big blow and Guardiola knows he must replace his departing captain adequately ahead of the next season. And the Sky Blues have wasted no time in signing Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea. However, as City will find themselves in a unique situation next season where they will be competing for seven trophies, Guardiola wants more depth in his squad.

The City boss is keen to add another midfielder to his ranks. After losing Rice to Arsenal, he has seemingly made Gabri Veiga his no.1 target for the midfield position. Veiga, who has been sounded out over a move, has a release clause of £34.6m which the Sky Blues should have no problem in triggering.

The Spanish under-21 international, who plays predominantly as a No.8 or No.10, would add quality and depth to City’s squad. He is only 21, and knowing Guardiola’s great reputation for developing young talents and transforming them into world-beaters, Veiga could be tempted by a move to the Etihad Stadium.

Thus, it is a no-brainer for the Cityzens to pay Veiga’s £34.6m million release clause and get him on board.

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