Manchester City‘s hopes of signing Kyle Walker were hit when Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy, refused to budge on his £45m valuation, the Daily Star reports. Walker’s contract runs until 2021 giving Spurs the upper hand in negotiations.
While City are also looking to bring in Dani Alves from Juventus, their marquee signing is Walker. Levy though, has a reputation for extracting the highest fee possible from other clubs, particularly when his star players are involved.
27-year-old Walker has the Premier League experience City boss Pep Guardiola needs in his back four. Alves, 34, is set to join after Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta were released this summer. However, John Stones needs a calming influence alongside him and the familiar Walker might solve the nerves which wrecked the youngsters form last season.
Guardiola’s initial intention was to bring in Walker and Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin but the Gunners are refusing to contemplate selling any stars this summer. Barcelona are favourites to land the young Spaniard who is representing his country at the Under-21s European Championships.
Walker, capped 27 times by England, was named in the PFA Team of the Year last season. However, Mauricio Pochettino dropped him to the bench in the big games at the end of the season, including the FA Cup semi-final when Tottenham crashed out of the competition with a 4 – 2 defeat at the hands of Chelsea.
Walker was also substitute in the north London derby against Arsenal, as well as the final match at White Hart Lane against Manchester United. The move, ostensibly on tactical grounds, was interpreted in some quarters as a sign his relationship with the highly-regarded Argentine had broken down.
It’s a question now of whether City feel the player is worth the sum Levy is demanding.