Manchester City launched an audacious late transfer bid for Crystal Palace star Eberechi Eze, according to reports. The tricky 25-year-old was believed to be up for the move, but a difference in valuation saw Pep Guardiola’s side walk away from what would have been a bombshell deal.
Eze is now into his fourth season as a Premier League regular, having joined Palace from Queens Park Rangers in 2020. Able to play in attacking midfield or off either flank, the England international notched 10 goals last campaign.
The versatility and freedom with which Eze plays is enough to have convinced Guardiola of his quality. According to The Mirror, City went as far as launching a concrete bid on deadline day, and talks were ‘advanced’.
However, Palace refused to come down from their £80million valuation, as City’s £60m proposal was deemed insufficient to sanction the last-gasp move.
City had already splashed out on winger Jeremy Doku and midfielder Matheus Nunes late in the window. An element of mystery therefore remains as to where Eze would have fit into Guardiola’s plans, although the reigning Premier League champions could yet come back in for the Palace man in January.
The raft of new signings have given City plenty of options, but several high-profile departures from the Etihad Stadium also unfolded over the course of the window.
To name a few; Ilkay Gundogan and Joao Cancelo joined Barcelona, Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte both headed to Saudi Arabia, James McAtee went to Sheffield United on loan and Cole Palmer made a surprise move to Chelsea.
A revamped squad didn’t do City any harm on Saturday, however, as they thumped Fulham 5-1 at the Etihad with Guardiola watching on from home, having recently undergone back surgery. Against the Cottagers, Erling Haaland was back to his old tricks as he notched a second-half hat-trick.
Julian Alvarez opened the scoring for the hosts, while Nathan Ake was also amongst the goals, although his powerful header was a source of controversy due to Manuel Akanji standing in an offside position.
“I think it was offside,” Haaland admitted to beIN Sports after the game. “I feel bad for [Fulham]. I would be fuming if I was them. It must be a horrible feeling.”