Manchester City are ‘not actively pursuing’ Kylian Mbappe, but a deal for Erling Haaland remains an ‘option’ for the club as they pursue a centre-forward this summer.
Pep Guardiola’s side are heading towards a third Premier League title in just four seasons after opening up an 11-point lead at the top of the division, though their success has come without the presence of a recognised forward for much of the campaign.
Sergio Aguero’s struggles with injury and illness have restricted him to three league starts to far this season, whilst the club’s all-time record goalscorer is expected to leave at the end of the season when his contract at the Etihad expires.
Aguero’s impending departure and the failure of Gabriel Jesus to prove himself as a capable successor has left Guardiola seeking the addition of a new centre-forward at the end of the current campaign.
According to The Athletic, however, one name who is not understood to be on the club’s current list of targets is Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe, whose future remains uncertain as he approaches the final year of his deal at the Parc des Princes.
City have previously been linked with a move for the France international, alongside the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid, though the report says the Premier League leaders are ‘not actively pursuing’ a move for Mbappe given the wages the star would command at the Etihad.
City are not prepared to break their wage structure in order to sign the 22-year-old, with any deal set to come at an extraordinary cost despite his contract situation with the French champions.
Amongst the list of alternatives includes Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland, the Norway international currently courted by Europe’s elite sides following a phenomenal goalscoring record with the Bundesliga outfit.
Haaland has scored 45 goals in just 46 games across all competitions since signing for Dortmund, and City are believed to be amongst the frontrunners of a queue that also includes Juventus, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea.
The 20-year-old has a release clause in his contract of €75m that will become active in 2022, though there is a growing suggestion that Dortmund could cash in this summer should they fail to secure Champions League football.
Dortmund’s defeat to Bayern on Saturday leaves them sixth in Germany’s top tier, four points adrift of Eintracht Frankfurt in the race to secure a top four finish.
Romelu Lukaku is another player understood to be under consideration from the City hierarchy, the former Manchester United forward having enjoyed a prolific spell since leaving the Premier League for Inter Milan in 2019.
The Belgium international became the fastest player in Inter’s history to reach 50 goals in all competitions and has been linked with a move to the Etihad, whilst the club are also long-term admirers of Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane.