Report: Manchester City to Target Maxwel Cornet After UCL Brace

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2018

LYON, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 27: Maxwell Cornet of Olympique Lyonnais is challenged by Oleksandr Zinchenko of Manchester City during the Group F match of the UEFA Champions League between Olympique Lyonnais and Manchester City at Groupama Stadium on November 27, 2018 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Lyon forward Maxwel Cornet has reportedly impressed Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola by netting a brace against the Premier League champions in the UEFA Champions League, and the Sky Blues will "make an attempt" for him as a result.

According to Calciomercato.com (h/t Sport Witness' Naveen Ullal), Guardiola praised the 22-year-old in an interview with RMC Sport after the match, and for good reason: Cornet scored twice to hand his side a 2-2 draw against heavy favourites City.

The Ivory Coast international has relished going up against Guardiola's team this season:

OptaJean @OptaJean

30% - 30% of the goals conceded by Manchester City (3/10) in all competitions this season have been scored by Maxwell Cornet 🇨🇮. Crazy. https://t.co/ceeFnJ2uve

As Ullal noted, Guardiola has brought in players who impressed him in person in the past. Ederson is an example, with the Brazilian stealing the show when he faced the Spaniard's Bayern Munich while at Benfica.

Cornet joined Lyon from Metz in 2015 as a rising star in Ligue 1 and a promising French youth international. Big things were expected from the versatile forward, but he got lost in the shuffle at Lyon and hasn't yet enjoyed the breakout campaign people predicted he would.

He scored eight goals in Ligue 1 in his first season with Lyon, but his numbers have dropped since. The likes of Bertrand Traore and Mariano Diaz sat ahead of him in the pecking order last season.

Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press

Cornet has yet to start in Ligue 1 this year but has made the most of his chances in Europe, and his strong play may have earned him the move he seemingly needs to get back on track. Lyon rely on Traore, Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele in attack, so they're not likely to put up much of a fight if a club makes an offer for Cornet.

The Sky Blues have targeted young talent in recent years, spending on the likes of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, among others. Jesus appears the heir to Sergio Aguero's role as main striker, but depth is limited.

Cornet might blossom with a change of scenery, in which case he could prove a steal for the Premier League leaders.