Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano has picked out James McAtee and Cole Palmer as two top talents at the Etihad Stadium and two of the big reasons why City’s first-team squad is “very good” at this stage, speaking on the Dr Football Podcast (via Manchester Evening News).
Whether that’s hinting at his potential inclusion in Pep Guardiola’s senior squad for next season is up for interpretation – but The Athletic have reported that he and Palmer could come in to replace Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling if they leave this summer.
Jesus is closer to a move than Sterling at this stage with the Brazilian closing in on a switch to Arsenal, potentially opening up a first-team spot for the 19-year-old to come in.
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However, after making just six appearances for the first team last season, a loan move could potentially be sanctioned for McAtee who shone in Premier League 2 for the Under-23s during the 2021/22 campaign.
Recording 22 goals and seven assists in 27 appearances for the U23 side, it’s no wonder he is regarded as one of City’s most promising players and he certainly isn’t short of interest from elsewhere.
Premier League side Leeds United previously looked at the possibility of bringing in the exciting teenager as part of a deal that would see Kalvin Phillips head in the other direction – but it doesn’t look as though a player swap will be materialising based on recent reports.
The Daily Mail have also revealed that Southampton are interested in taking him away from his current side, though Championship clubs Huddersfield Town and Swansea City are both believed to be in the race and could remain in contention to land him if the youngster is open to dropping down a level temporarily.
It was previously believed that the Terriers were in pole position to secure his signature despite the fact they missed out on promotion to the top flight, potentially providing Carlos Corberan’s side with a major boost in the final third as a real goalscoring threat.
But his situation remains uncertain at this point with a clear decision on his future not being made or reported yet.