Manchester City Transfer News: Benjamin Pavard Linked in Latest Rumours

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist ISeptember 12, 2018

MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 06: Benjamin Pavard of France runs with the ball during the UEFA Nations League group A match between Germany and France at Allianz Arena on September 6, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)
Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Manchester City have become the latest club to be linked with Stuttgart's France international defender Benjamin Pavard. 

Per Le 10 Sport (h/t The Sun's Anthony Chapman), the Premier League champions are attracted by his versatility, as he can play at right-back or centre-back.

Pavard made a name for himself at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, when he scored a spectacular goal in the 4-3 last-16 victory over Argentina.

His strike was chosen as the tournament's best goal:

The 22-year-old's performances in Russia have fuelled rumours over his future. He has played down speculation linking him with a move to Bayern Munich.

"You journalists said I had signed for Bayern, but I am happy at Stuttgart," he told L'Equipe earlier this month (h/t the Mirror's Liam Prenderville). "The World Cup arrived sooner than I expected, even for me. My plan was to stay another season in Germany. I am at a very big club with fantastic fans. I have signed nothing."

The defender has also been offered to Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Sport Witness). However, any move would depend on Sergi Roberto moving back into midfield. At present the 26-year-old is the club's first-choice right-back, with Nelson Semedo also an option for manager Ernesto Valverde.

Pavard has emerged as one of Europe's top prospects at right-back with his performances for Stuttgart and France. His versatility makes him a valuable asset, and he says he enjoys both positions, per Goal:

Kyle Walker is Manchester City's established right-back. The club spent heavily in bringing him to the club from Tottenham Hotpur in 2017 for an initial £45 million, per BBC Sport.

He has also featured as part of a back three for Manchester City and England but said right-back is his preferred position earlier this summer, per Dominic Fifield at the Guardian.

Manchester City may also need to consider replacements at centre-back in the coming seasons. Captain Vincent Kompany celebrated his 32nd birthday this year, while Nicolas Otamendi will turn 31 in February.

Pavard looks a good option for Manchester City. He is young, full of potential and developing rapidly, but the Premier League champions can expect competition for his signature.

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