Pep Guardiola has identified Darwin Nunez as a potential successor to Sergio Aguero, according to reports.
The Manchester City manager committed his medium-term future to the club last week by signing a two-year contract extension.
Guardiola is now tied down at the Etihad Stadium until the summer of 2023, and he still hopes Sergio Aguero will follow suit.
The Catalan insisted last month that Aguero must earn a new deal, with his current contract set to run out next summer.
SPECIAL OFFER Subscribe to FourFourTwo for just £9.99 a quarter
However, it is not yet clear whether the striker wants to stay put or seek a new challenge after 10 seasons at City.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, the City hierarchy are beginning to draw up a succession plan as they look to replace the club’s all-time top scorer.
Even if Aguero does sign an extension, City are aware that an alternative to the 32-year-old will need to be found sooner rather than later.
Gabriel Jesus may yet step into Aguero’s shoes as City’s first-choice No.9, but the club will still require a new recruit to compete with the Brazilian.
The Sunday Telegraph report that Benfica striker Darwin Nunez is among the players City are keeping tabs on.
The Uruguayan averaged a goal every other game for Spanish side Almeria last term, earning himself a £21.8m transfer to Benfica in the summer.
And despite only joining the Portuguese giants at the start of this season, Nunez would be available next summer if City were to meet Benfica’s asking price.
The Premier League side remain quietly confident of signing Lionel Messi on a free transfer in 2021, but they are still on the lookout for a younger forward.
City have weighed up moves for Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane but believe both players would be too expensive.
The club would prefer to spend a maximum of £70m on a new striker, and Nunez would certainly fit within their price bracket.
A 2-0 loss to Tottenham on Saturday leaves City in 11th place in the Premier League table.
While you’re here, subscribe to FourFourTwo and save 48% – available until Christmas. It’s the perfect gift idea for anybody who loves football (including yourself)!
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.