Manchester City consider Aaron Cresswell capture from Hammers?
Manchester City, 7/1 shots with Coral to mount a defence of the Premier League title despite trailing Chelsea by seven points, are looking at West Ham United left back Aaron Cresswell as a long-term option for that berth, according to the weekend tabloids.
The Etihad outfit’s current first-team options for this flank of defence, former France international Gael Clichy and Serbia’s Aleksandar Kolarov, both turn 30 this year, and manager Manuel Pellegrini is reportedly keen to freshen things up in the summer.
A £4m signing from Championship club Ipswich Town, 25-year-old Cresswell has impressed at Upton Park under Sam Allardyce, as the Hammers chase European football for next season.
One goal and three assists from Cresswell in his first Premier League campaign is as big a statistical contribution as Clichy has made to City, while Kolarov is yet to score though set up two teammates to find the target this term.
Cresswell, who spent time in Liverpool’s academy until 2005 when he moved to Tranmere Rovers, is a northwest native, and interest in him from the Etihad may be motivated by a combination of Financial Fair Play and fulfilling homegrown quotas.
Pellegrini will lose loanee Frank Lampard at the end of the season when he finally links up with City’s sister club and new MLS franchise New York City. Fellow midfielder James Milner, meanwhile, is out of contract in Manchester.
Long-serving defender Micah Richards, who is spending the campaign on loan at Fiorentina, may make a permanent transfer to the Serie A side this summer, while misfit wideman Scott Sinclair, currently with Aston Villa, can be expected to seek a move then too.
That would just leave City number one Joe Hart and reserve goalie Richard Wright as the only senior English players on their books.
Capturing Cresswell, who is unlikely to command a large fee despite growing premiums paid for homegrown talents in recent years, could prove a brilliant bargain, and a move to the Etihad would certainly enhance his prospects of international recognition.
Luke Shaw, Leighton Baines’ touted long-term successor at left back for England, is struggling to make an impact at Manchester United following a big money move from Southampton. Tottenham’s Danny Rose, meanwhile, is not always first-choice and Arsenal counterpart Kieran Gibbs has an injury prone question mark hanging over him.
Ryan Bertrand, now permanently at Southampton after a £10m winter window transfer deadline day switch from Chelsea after a successful loan spell, may be the only block between Cresswell and a call-up from Roy Hodgson.
While West Ham are eight points shy of the Champions League places, a top six finish cannot be ruled out at 11/1, and Cresswell can continue to contribute to that cause for Big Sam.