Manchester City pair Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus are set for the Etihad exit door as Pep Guardiola’s side close in on the signing of Harry Kane.
It is understood the Premier League champions have put a ceiling of £120million on any offer for the 27-year-old forward.
But a deal for Kane will smash the £100m barrier, and with Jack Grealish also in City’s sights, two high-profile stars could reportedly be offloaded before the transfer window shuts.
Bernardo Silva was a key player for City last term as they reclaimed the domestic crown from Liverpool – but he has previously been linked with Barcelona and could be sacrificed to help land City’s targets.
Gabriel Jesus could be the other man to make way, with the striker having played second fiddle to club legend Sergio Aguero since arriving at the Etihad from Palmeiras in 2017.
City open their Premier League campaign away to Spurs on August 15, and both clubs want Kane’s future to have been resolved by then.
Claims that Kane was set to move for a Premier League record fee of £160m were swiftly shot down by City, who insisted they would not countenance such an exorbitant fee.
And with the two clubs still far apart in their valuations of one of the world’s most prolific strikers, the saga over Kane’s future may not be concluded before the start of the campaign.
Kane is said to have told guests of his impending move to City at the wedding of his brother and agent Charlie last week, but the fee is the main hurdle to be cleared before any deal can be done.
Personal terms are not a problem, with City ready to hand Kane a five-year deal worth around £350,000-a-week, but negotiations over the fee involved could end up dragging on for weeks.
Kane informed Tottenham of his desire to leave just before the end of last season, with City quickly emerging as the front-runners to sign the forward, who has 221 goals from 336 appearances for Spurs.
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When City announced in March they were not going to offer record goalscorer Aguero a new deal, they had already begun the process of recruiting Kane as his replacement.
Guardiola famously and flippantly referred to Spurs as ‘the Harry Kane team’, provoking anger at Tottenham, but the glib remark underlined just how highly the City boss rates the forward.
Even though Guardiola has often played without a recognised striker, playing the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling as a ‘False Nine’, he knows Kane will guarantee City 20-plus goals a season.
In the last 10 years, Kane has averaged 23.2 goals a season, compared to 26 for Aguero, but with Kane arguably in the prime of his career.
And with the formidable service he can expect at City from the likes of De Bruyne, that figure is certain to rise.
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