Manchester City have all-but agreed to sign Kwadwo Baah from nearby League One club Rochdale, with the attacker set to link up with Pep Guardiola’s side in the summer, per Sam Lee of The Athletic.
City’s interest emerged yesterday as they looked to beat off other competition from Juventus, Bayern Munich and West Ham United (per The Athletic), whose manager David Moyes signed Rochdale’s boss Brian Barry-Murphy for Preston North End in 1999 and looked to take advantage of that link.
But it is the former Premier League champions who have won the race for Baah’s signature as they have used their local links to great effect.
Baah first signed a professional deal with Dale in February 2020 with the club knowing the amount of potential they had on their hands – the German-born Ghanaian had made his league debut months before at the age of just 16.
They were only able to tie Baah down until June 2021 though, and an impressive performance against Charlton last month – which saw the youngster score two cracking goals – made the teenager a talking point on social media.
And it’s clear that the interest ramped up since that performance, but City are the ones to take full advantage.
Quiz: Which club did Rochdale sign each of these 25 players from?
It’s not clear as to whether a deal for Baah will be struck now or after the transfer window, but whatever the case is he will be linking up with City’s under-23 squad in the summer.
If the deal – which is said to be worth £500k by Lee – is done before the deadline, then Baah will simply be loaned back to Rochdale until the end of the season, and then what happens after that when he becomes a fully-fledged City player is anyone’s guess.
This is a low-risk move for City, who are picking up an extremely talented youngster for a snip.
Like any young winger, Baah is raw and inconsistent, but he already has match-winning qualities that he’s showing in League One right now.
You’d expect that Rochdale have negotiated a sell-on fee should Baah develop into a top-level player, but City have so many youngsters on their books that some of them inevitably sink whilst others swim – Rochdale fans will be keeping a watchful eye on Baah’s progress over the years no doubt.