Manchester City Transfer News: Citizens Shouldn't Give Up on Matija Nastasic Yet

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2014

Manchester City's Matija Nastasic kicks a ball during the Champions League group D soccer match between Manchester City and Bayern Munich at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Manchester City are reportedly ready to sell Matija Nastasic to the highest bidder, but the Citizens shouldn't give up on the young defender just yet.

The Daily Express' David Wright knows Arsenal are among the clubs interested in his services, while reports from Italy indicate he could be making a return to Serie A. Manuel Pellegrini conceded Nastasic needs minutes, something City can't offer the Serb:

Matija needs to play. We already have four centre-backs, [Martin] Demichelis, [Vincent] Kompany, [Eliaquim] Mangala and [Dedryck] Boyata, as well as four full-backs. So we will see in the next few days what happens with Nastasic. He is an important player, but he has offers and I think the best thing for him is to play.

We will see what happens, but we have until the end of August to see what kind of offers we get for Matija.

Pellegrini is right: Nastasic needs to play. His Premier League career hasn't followed the trajectory many were predicting when he arrived at the Etihad in 2012, as injury and inconsistent play plagued his past two seasons.

The competition at the centre-back position is fierce, and the 21-year-old simply isn't worthy of being a regular starter over the likes of Kompany and Demichelis.

The situation has the words "loan deal" written all over it. Nastasic needs to play, and there are plenty of clubs who would gladly field the player for one or more seasons. After all, the Serbian international was widely regarded as one of the best defensive prospects in all of football just two years ago.

Nastasic was awesome in his one season with Fiorentina, flashing all of the potential that led to City bringing him in during the summer of 2012. At the age of 19, he was still very raw and inexperienced, but he still outplayed Joleon Lescott during his first season with the Citizens.

Think about that for a second: A 19-year-old kid with only one season of Serie A experience established himself as a viable starter for a title-contending team in his first Premier League season.

His 2013-14 season was marred by injury, and following the arrival of Mangala, the Citizens are suddenly planning on moving on?

There's a reason Juventus, a team that can't even find a starting spot for Angelo Ogbonna and already fields Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci, is reportedly chasing his signature: His potential is still incredibly high.

Manchester Evening News' Rob Dawson agrees Mangala's arrival shouldn't mean the end for Nastasic:

Clubs don't usually sell top young talents still more than a half-decade removed from reaching their peak. The only exception to that would be an offer so ludicrous City simply couldn't turn it down.

But according to Metro, that's not the case, with Nastasic valued at just £12 million.

The youngster needs to play regular minutes and prove he belongs in City's defensive rotation, and a loan deal would provide a perfect opportunity. The Citizens simply can't risk moving him for scraps and watch him develop into the world-class defender people still believe he can become.