Reports on Sunday have linked Manchester City defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis with a move to Burnley next season, with the Clarets potentially appointing former Blues captain Vincent Kompany as manager.
Kompany left Anderlecht last week and Burnley are keen to make the Belgian their new manager, replacing Sean Dyche permanently after interim coach Mike Jackson failed to keep them in the Premier League.
And it’s claimed that City center-back Harwood-Bellis could be on Kompany’s shopping list if appointed, having worked together previously as players at the Etihad and when Harwood-Bellis was on loan at Anderlecht last season.
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Next season could see plenty of City youngsters look elsewhere for first-team opportunities, either on loan or permanently, just like Harwood-Bellis has done in the last 18 months. We’ve looked at some of the players who could leave.
Burnley would seem a good fit for the England U21 center-back, who has impressed in the second tier with Blackburn and Stoke. His spell under Kompany at Anderlecht was cut short in January after he lost his place, but he recovered at Stoke to make a success of his season.
Burnley may lose key center-backs Ben Mee and James Tarkowski this summer, so he could be in the market for a new defender, although his Blackburn connections could make any transfer a bit more difficult due to the intense rivalry between the clubs. MEN Sport reported last month that City may be open to selling Harwood-Bellis permanently, with his contract expiring in 2024.
Midfielder Doyle could not quite break into the Hamburg team at the start of the season but made up for lost time when he swapped Germany for Wales in January. Doyle showed his class at Cardiff and is earmarked for a loan higher up the Championship next season.
He is bound to attract plenty of interest in the summer, and City will be keen to find the right club for him after the Hamburg experiment failed.
Striker Delap struggled with injuries throughout 2021/22 but showed his qualities towards the end of the campaign for the youth team. With Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez arriving in the summer, however, Delap’s game-time next season could be limited, and he’s clearly outgrown U23 football.
There is reportedly interest in Delap from the Championship, and maybe even the Premier League, so it could be an opportunity for the striker to show his class at first-team level somewhere else next season.
Another player who has outgrown the Premier League 2, finishing as the U23 league’s joint-top scorer and winning Player of the Season. With a first-team breakthrough and new contract, it’s been a fine year for McAtee, although he will face a similar conundrum to Delap in that first-team opportunities will be limited.
If he followed Harwood-Bellis and Doyle into the Championship, you wouldn’t bet against him scoring goals wherever he went.
Of all the youngsters coming through at City, Palmer may have the best chance of minutes under Pep Guardiola, especially if he’s recovered from his recent injury issues.
If not, there would surely be a long queue of clubs lining up to take Palmer, who is free-scoring for the youth team and has already notched a few for the first team.
Other contenders who could benefit from a loan would be defensive midfielder Romeo Lavia, winger Sam Edozie, and maybe £ 10m Brazilian signing Kayky. Defenders Luke Mbete and CJ Egan-Riley could benefit from playing regular first-team football, just as Finley Burns and Callum Doyle have shown this season.
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