Manchester United are stuck between a rock and a hard place in the signing of Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.
The Red Devils are involved in a face-off with bitter local rivals Manchester City who are homing in on the excellent 22-year-old.
City are deeply craving to replace Fernandinho this summer before his fuel burns out.
The Sky Blues missed out on grabbing Chelsea star Jorginho in the last window, and similarly hit the same wall when they failed to nab Brazilian Fred, now at Manchester United.
Fernandinho turns 34 in May, and has been indispensable at the middle of the park for City. Cut him out of the squad, and City’s midfield will be as fragile as a thread.
Ndombele, popularly called the “new Michael Essien” could be their messiah at the Etihad.
His impressive play against City in the Champions League for Lyon has kindled a flaming need to bring him to the Etihad in the summer.
While the tussle for his services is expected to turn more notches up when the summer window is flung open for business, Guardiola has disclaimed talks about leaving City for Juventus as spotted in a publication in Italy.
He said: “I don’t understand why the big papers say that I’m going to Italy.
“I have two more years here and I’m not going anywhere unless they sack me.”