Pep Guardiola 'in Love' With Milan Midfielder Ismael Bennacer

Bennacer has been excellent recently
Bennacer has been excellent recently / Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is said to have 'fallen in love' with Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer, and is keen to bring him to Manchester as soon as possible.

Bennacer has played a key role in Milan's upturn in form, particularly since the resumption of play. The 22-year-old has started eight of his side's nine league games since the restart, and grabbed his first league goal in the win over Bologna on the weekend.

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His performances haven't gone unnoticed either, with La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Milan Live) now reporting that Man City boss Guardiola is very keen on the player. The Premier League outfit have renewed their interest in Bennacer, with Guardiola 'in love' with him. As a result, the former Bayern Munich boss is looking to bring Bennacer, who only joined Milan from Empoli last summer, to the Etihad immediately.

As for the midfielder himself, he is said to be a big admirer of Guardiola and his work. City are not the only side interested in his services, however, as Paris Saint-Germain are also circling. The French champions are even considering parting ways with as much as €50m to bring him to Paris - but it is noted that Guardiola could look to match this.

Pep Guardiola has been keen on Bennacer for a while
Pep Guardiola has been keen on Bennacer for a while / Pool/Getty Images

Milan are, of course, hoping to keep hold of Bennacer, but the Algerian does have a clause in his contract which would see the Rossoneri's powers limited. From 2021, Bennacer will be free to leave Milan if any interested party were to pay his release clause of €50m.

Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan have been the two players most frequently used in the defensive midfield role at City this season, with the ageing Fernandinho primarily operating as a centre-back in 2019/20. However, the addition of a player like Bennacer could prove to be a shrewd acquisition for Guardiola, allowing the likes of Gundogan to be deployed further up the field.