Guardiola 'in talks' for AFCON winner

English Premier League

Less than a year after winning the Best Player award at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Algeria star Ismael Bennacer has now reportedly emerged as Pep Guardiola's priority target at Manchester City.

Bennacer's performances at last year's AFCON earned him a €16 million (R319 million) move to AC Milan at the beginning of this season, but he could now be on the move again after reportedly catching the eye of City boss Guardiola. 

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According to French publication Foot Mercato, the 22-year-old has been identified as the ideal replacement for outbound City captain David Silva, who has confirmed he will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the campaign.

It is reported that Guardiola has been following Bennacer's progression for a number of years and has been impressed with his creative output, which was best reflected by his tournament-high three assists in Egypt last year.  

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City face a number of challenges in securing the France-born midfielder's signature, however, not least of which is the club's impending two-year ban from all UEFA competitions after being found guilty of breaching Financial Fair Play regulations.

The reigning Premier League champions are also expected to meet resistance from Milan, who are reportedly reluctant to entertain offers for their star man, while Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain have also been credited with an interest in the former Arsenal prospect.