Man City stance on academy loan exits amid James McAtee transfer speculation

Manchester City’s recent Covid-19 outbreak could prevent some of the club’s young talent from leaving on loan this month.

The transfer month is expected to be quiet as Pep Guardiola has already said City will not sign a new striker to replace Ferran Torres in January. Any further entry at first-team level seems unlikely as the Blues rarely do business in the winter market as they don’t believe it offers good value for money.

City have been somewhat active in the loan market, however, with Taylor Harwood-Bellis recalled from his spell at Anderlecht due to reduced playing time, with a new loan to Stoke City arranged for the second half of the season. season.

Likewise, Tommy Doyle has asked to end his stay at Hamburg after struggling for regular fixtures, with the German side claiming City are trying to find a new club. Cardiff City boss Steve Morrison has admitted his interest in Doyle. “Yes, he’s a player we like, a player we’ve watched,” Morison said of the City youngster.

“Until that’s done, don’t commit to anything just yet.”

Goalkeeper James Trafford was also recalled from Accrington and joined Bolton instead.

There have been plenty of rumors surrounding City’s academy players still at the club, with the likes of James McAtee reportedly being sought by Southampton and others sparking interest due to their first-team involvement and for their good performances at the Academy level.

However, Under-23 head coach Brian Barry-Murphy said he did not expect any major outings on loan this month, but noted that the Covid situation at all Club levels would play a part in any decision-making.

For example, McAtee and nine other youngsters have been needed on the first-team bench recently as at least seven senior players self-isolated due to Covid and injuries.

Manchester City have started their campaign well, sitting at the top of the Premier League and easily qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

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“I have a lot of experience with the loan market,” the former Rochdale manager told MEN Sport, without naming McAtee or any other player in particular.

“There will be a multitude of clubs in many countries who want our players. The situation is very complex in terms of what is happening with the pandemic. The club will have ideas, and at the moment I am not aware of one of our players leaving on loan.

“If that changes, it has the effect of losing players to injury, young players will enter the fray.

“From our perspective it’s a no-loss situation, it’s about making sure all of our players get as much action as possible and if that involves a loan to improve on that, that would be good.”

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