Transfer Rumour: Manchester City set to battle Everton and Leicester City for Michael Keane

Manchester City are reportedly set to make a January move for Burnley defender Michael Keane, with Everton and Leicester City also interested.

The Sun have reported that Manchester City are set to battle fellow Premier League sides Everton and Leicester City in the pursuit of Burnley defender Michael Keane, with all three clubs interested in making a January move for the former Manchester United academy graduate.

The 24-year-old Michael Keane has made a name for himself this season at the heart of the Burnley defence, with consistently solid performances sparking interest from several clubs.

Things didn’t work out at Old Trafford for Keane, as he failed to get ahead of the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Jonny Evans under Louis van Gaal, and he  moved to Burnley in 2015. The centre-half has indeed come a long way from plying his trade as an academy ace at Old Trafford.

Making a name for himself - Michael Keane (Photo courtesy - Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Making a name for himself – Michael Keane (Photo courtesy – Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

He has, since, impressed for the Clarets, and manager Sean Dyche’s defensive acumen has translated into improvements for Keane. The centre-back has shown that with impeccable positioning skills, tackling ability and an ever improving reading of the game.

This season, Keane has taken to the challenges in the Premier League with ease, and after 20 games he is rated as one of the most consistent central defenders in English football’s top flight. His performances for Burnley also earned him an England call-up and he is striving to become a regular in the national setup.

All that seemed to have sparked interest from Premier League clubs, with Manchester City, Everton and Leicester City all ready to engage in a tussle to sign Keane, with a price tag of £20 million set on his head by Burnley.

The Clarets were planning to keep Keane on for the rest of the season before selling him in the summer, when Keane would enter the last twelve months of his contract with the club. However, it now looks like they could be resigned to preparing for a January exit for Keane, with interest hotting up in the defender.

Manchester City’s interest in Keane has been sparked by the failure of John Stones to settle in at Etihad, while Vincent Kompany’s recurring injury problems and Nicolas Otamendi’s inconsistencies have only compounded manager Pep Guardiola’s woes, whose side has the worst defensive record in Premier League’s Top 8.

On Manchester City's radar? (Photo courtesy - Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
On Manchester City’s radar? (Photo courtesy – Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Everton, meanwhile, are looking for reinforcements themselves. With Phil Jagielka reportedly on the verge of a move away from Goodison Park in the winter transfer window, Ronald Koeman is interested in adding to his central defensive options.

Leicester City are long-time admirers of Keane, and the Premier League champions made a move for the Burnley defender in the summer as well. With Leicester’s defence struggling to keep up with most Premier League attacks, it is easy to see why they are interested in shoring up central defence in January.

Manchester City have already sent a delegation to watch Keane once this season, and Guardiola has had a closer look at a player who was also reported to be a target for Manchester United and Chelsea earlier this season, while Koeman is a known admirer of the 24-year-old.

A central defender has to be a priority signing for these three sides, and it remains to be seen whether any of them make a concrete offer for Keane, with just a few more days left for the transfer window to close.

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