Man City reject massive offer for teenage striker – on Pep Guardiolas orders

Manchester City have turned down a whopping £30million from Southampton to sell rising star Liam Delap.

City's prolific Academy striker, 19, has been the subject of several summer inquiries from Premier League and Championship outfits. Southampton, Brighton and Burnley are at the front of the queue chasing the son of ex-Stoke City midfielder Rory Delap.

And Saints chief Ralph Hasenhuttl reckoned he was on course to land his third City starlet in this window with the huge offer.

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The South Coast club had already signed Etihad pair Gavin Bazunu and Romeo Lavia for a combined total of £27million – but were prepared to go significantly bigger to bag Delap.

Yet, despite coming to the table with a proposal of £20m up front, plus £10m in future add-ons, the English champions dismissed it – after Pep Guardiola intervened to block any permanent transfer.

The City manager’s refusal to cash in is a massive boost for England Under-19s ace Delap.

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Since making his senior City debut in the League Cup in September 2020 and the Premier League soon after, first-team chances have been in short supply – even though Guardiola had no recognised number nine in his squad.

That situation in attack has changed following the recent £65m arrival of Norwegian striker Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund – dropping Delap back down the pecking order.

The one-time Derby junior, who is on City’s current pre-season tour to the USA, could still end up with the Saints this season – on loan.

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But whether he can be guaranteed a starting place every week at St Mary's is a major issue – as it is with Graham Potter's Seagulls.

All of which is paving the way for second-tier Burnley to make their move.

New Clarets manager Vincent Kompany knows Delap well from his days as City’s all-conquering skipper.

And the Belgian coach is convinced those close ties give him the edge in the battle for one of the country’s brightest teenage talents.


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