Man City await Fernandinho decision that could dictate their summer transfer window plans

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Fernandinho has been an integral member of Manchester City’s squad for almost nine years now, a testament to his superb technical ability, longevity and leadership qualities. However, at 36 years old, the future of City’s Brazilian skipper is a subject that can no longer be ignored.

Fernandinho has played a bit-part role for Pep Guardiola’s side of late, largely due to the brilliance of Rodri but also because of the toll age he has inevitably taken on his physical abilities. He is still more than capable of playing at the elite level, but he is not the all-action defensive midfielder he once was.

the MEN Sports understands that City and Guardiola would like Fernandinho to stay for another season, but have been looking at potential replacements as the final decision rests with the player himself. The midfielder believes that he can play at the top level for a few more years, and while he loves the club and life in Manchester, he would have liked to have played more this season.

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With his current contract set to expire in June, City fans will soon find out whether an emotional farewell is going to be on the cards or not. If you’re still on the fence about the subject, here’s a breakdown of why Ferna should stay and why he should go.

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He may have started only six of City’s 29 Premier League games this season, and just 12 in all competitions, but Fernandinho is still a crucial player in Guardiola’s squad. Rodri’s gradual emergence as one of the game’s best holding midfielders has seen the Brazilian’s minutes dwindle, but off the pitch he has taken on new responsibilities.

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Fernandinho’s future is still undecided

The 36-year-old was named City’s captain when David Silva left the club in 2020, and it’s a role he has taken incredibly seriously; one only need to see how he passes instructions to his teammates from the sidelines, or hear how his colleagues speak about him to realize that.

“He’s more than a captain, he guides the young players and also supports the more experienced players,” compatriot Ederson said earlier this month. That kind of leadership is something Vincent Kompany provided but Silva didn’t, and it is hard to come by.

Fernandinho played a crucial role in City’s title triumph last season too, calling on his teammates to up their game in December 2020 and helping to create a positive atmosphere in the dressing room.

He still has something to offer on the pitch – there is no way that Rodri can be expected to play every game in a 60+ game season. He may struggle in the more high-intensity, transition-based games, but as he showed with a man of the match performance against Sporting Lisbon earlier this month, he still has plenty of quality.

If the Brazilian does decide to go into coaching at some point in the future – Guardiola believes he is good enough to do so – then sticking around at City for another year, while not playing too much, would be the perfect transition into such a role .

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At times when he has been deputized for Rodri this season, Fernandinho has looked every bit his age. In games against Southampton and Leicester in particular – when the opposition exploited his reduced mobility through transitions – he looked slow and isolated at the heart of City’s midfield.

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Then there is the money side of things – Fernandinho is not a top earner at City, but he is still paid rather a lot to appear in a handful of matches in a season. If City want to conduct business aside from Erling Haaland in the summer, saving the money from an aging squad player might not be a bad decision.

Fernandinho is no doubt an important father figure for young players at the club, but his presence in City’s squad next season could limit the opportunities for a young prospect to work his way into Guardiola’s plans. At 18 years old, Romeo Lavia still has a few years to develop, but he is seen as one of the candidates to follow the Phil Foden and Cole Palmer path.

Keeping Fernandinho around for an extra year would be good for squad morale, but if it inhibits the development of someone who could be his long-term successor, is it worth it?

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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