Pep Guardiola has predicted his "outstanding" right-back Kyle Walker will rise to the challenge after losing his place in the England squad.

For the second international break in a row, Manchester City star Walker has been left out by Gareth Southgate.

Walker faces strong competition for his position from players including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Kieran Trippier, who was left out for the Nations League Finals but has regained his spot after joining Atletico Madrid.

Guardiola, though, is in no doubt 29-year-old Walker can fight his way back into contention for the Three Lions having played throughout the 2018 World Cup for Southgate's side.

"Kyle, it's a big challenge for him to show the manager from England how good he is and ready to come back," Guardiola told a news conference on Friday ahead of Sunday's Premier League game at home to Wolves.

"In our sports life always it's about challenge, deals, targets. He has one in front of him in every single game to show how good he is and come back in the national team.

"He came as an incredible, outstanding player and he still is, physicality strong and fast, we try to help him since we're together to be a better player.

"We ask him many times to attack from wide or inside; Kyle Walker is a player who can do everything. But the opinion is of Gareth the manager, I'm not here to… he makes a decision to select and he decided the last two times.

"I respect it, Kyle respects it, Gareth does what he does for the national team. It's a challenge for Kyle to show how good he is. My opinion doesn't change whether he's in or not, he remains an incredible full-back."

City signed right-back Joao Cancelo from Juventus in the transfer window and the Portugal international has impressed in the Carabao Cup and Champions League, but Guardiola indicated Walker will remain his first choice.

"Against Preston he made a step forward with all the kids, last game really good too," Guardiola said of Cancelo. "Because he arrived late, not in pre-season, things we work on he was not there, it was different to his previous team so we need time.

"But he's getting better with and without the ball. He's understanding what we want and he played well in the last two games. Kyle I don't have doubts about, Danilo played a couple of games last season.

"We cannot play with just one player. We survived with one [left-sided] full-back with Fabian [Delph] and Alex [Zinchenko] so we need this player to move forward, let Kyle rest and sometimes Joao plays to take his position. It is what it is."

Guardiola would not comment on Bernardo Silva being charged by the Football Association following a racially insensitive social media post about City team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

Gareth Southgate has explained a lack of goal involvements and regular football led to the respective omissions of Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli from his latest England squad.

Lingard and Alli were two of the stars of England's run to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup but have struggled for their best form of late.

The Manchester United attacker is without a goal or an assist in the Premier League in 2019, while Alli has been a relatively peripheral figure for Tottenham after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Liverpool's Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain has been similarly left out, with Southgate unable to ignore the claims of James Maddison and Mason Mount.

"I think Jesse's had a difficult period. He's aware of that," the England manager told a Wembley news conference after announcing his line-up for this month's Euro 2020 qualifying trips to the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

"I retain huge faith in Jesse because he's a player who's always played well for us, he's never let us down. His performance level for England has been excellent.

"As an attacking midfield player you are going to be judged on your goals and assists. When you look at the likes of [Raheem] Sterling and [Jadon] Sancho, those numbers are high currently.

"It's a really high bar. The competition is far greater than it was 18 months ago because we've pushed young players in early, given them opportunities and those players have flourished.

"Jesse is another player who we believe can fight his way back into the squad but, when you look at those names that we've just talked about, it shows you the competition for places that we've got."

He added: "[Oxlade-Chamberlain] is a little bit like Dele, really, where the season hasn't quite got going for either of them. But we're expecting them to challenge in the next couple of months.

"To put them in means I've got to leave someone out who's in form and is playing well – a Mason Mount or a James Maddison. They're in competition with those guys.

"Whenever you ask me who I've left out, who am I leaving out to bring them back in? It's a difficult call in those positions. I think all the players would recognise the rationale for the decisions."

Another of those left out to prompt discussion was Kyle Walker, with the Manchester City right-back overlooked in favour of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier.

"Kyle is a slightly more defensive full-back, has good qualities with the ball. The other two boys we felt did well last month and we didn't feel the decision to change would be the right one," Southgate added.

"I think he's playing well, it’s not the case that he's playing poorly. We've just got really good competition in certain positions on the field."

Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori are the headline inclusions having, along with Mount, benefitted from Frank Lampard putting faith in Chelsea's youth products.

Southgate stated Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden is "close" to a senior breakthrough but suggested the 19-year-old  - who scored against Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Tuesday but only has one 10-minute appearance in the Premier League this season – realistically needs to make more frequent appearances for Pep Guardiola's side.

"It's clearly difficult to assess exactly where Phil sits compared to others, given the opportunities at his club – which I totally understand because of the quality of players he's up against," Southgate said.

"He's another player for the future. We have to be patient for his development, but that's fine.

"We think he's still progressing well, he's learning from one of the best coaches in the world and his time will come."

Lionel Messi will get to decide his Barcelona future, regardless of when the star is contracted until.

Messi, 32, re-signed with the LaLiga champions two years ago, extending his contract until 2021.

But such extensions may not matter when it comes to arguably the world's best player.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI CAN LEAVE BARCELONA AT THE END OF ANY SEASON

Messi can choose to leave Barcelona at the conclusion of any campaign regardless of his contract, according to El Pais.

The Argentina superstar made his debut for the club in late 2004, and his future is seemingly in his own hands.

It remains to be seen when, or if, Messi decides to depart Camp Nou.

ROUND-UP

- Philippe Coutinho eventually left Barcelona for Bayern Munich on loan, but it could have been different for the playmaker. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola rejected the chance to sign the 27-year-old, according to Marca.

- Left out of Juventus' Champions League squad, Mario Mandzukic is eyeing a January exit, according to Calciomercato.com. The striker was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United during the transfer window.

- Staying in Turin, Juventus could have signed Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng in the close season. Calciomercato.com reports Maurizio Sarri rejected a move for the centre-back.

- Ousmane Dembele was reportedly wanted by Paris Saint-Germain while they were in talks with Barcelona over a move for Neymar. But the attacker refused to leave because he is at his dream club at Barcelona, according to L'Equipe.

- Former Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio is reportedly in talks with Monaco, but the 55-time Italy international turned down a move to Scottish giants Rangers, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Left out of the England squad, Manchester City defender Kyle Walker is worried he has no international future under Gareth Southgate, the Daily Star reports.

Pep Guardiola feels Fernandinho and Kyle Walker are both capable of filling in for injured Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte.

The defender, who earned a long-awaited call-up by France this week, was taken off on a stretcher during Saturday's 4-0 Premier League win at home to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Laporte was described by Guardiola in the build-up to the game as the best left-sided defender in Europe but it is feared a right knee injury could rule him out for an extended period, with the 25-year-old joining Leroy Sane in the treatment room.

His absence left City temporarily with one fit senior centre-back, Nicolas Otamendi, although Guardiola confirmed John Stones should be available to face Norwich City after the international break, having recently suffered a hamstring strain.

City did not sign a central defender during the transfer window, instead bringing in Joao Cancelo from Juventus, with fellow right-back Danilo heading in the opposite direction.

They failed to replace departing captain Vincent Kompany and ended an interest in Harry Maguire before Stones and Walker's England team-mate joined rivals Manchester United for £80million.

"The club works incredibly well in all departments and sometimes we cannot afford it like other teams afford it and that is all," Guardiola told reporters.

"We pay a lot of money for a lot of players, that is why we have a depth of squad with huge quality but we cannot do... the club tell me, 'You have a limit, you cannot go forward'.

"'Maybe in the future but not now, you cannot do it.' I say, 'Okay, you cannot do it so we cannot do it, so we are going with what we have'.

"But we don't expect Leroy out for a long time and now Laporte, maybe, we wait but doesn’t look good, But it is what it is.

"During the season it happens and the other guys are going to make a step forward and one day we need to put Kyle Walker like a central defender, he is going to play central defender, so we are going to find solutions.

"I am sad for Leroy, I am sad for Laporte today, that is what I am concerned [about] - but we are going to move forward."

While Walker has played on the right of a back three for England, Fernandinho slotted into the heart of defence against Brighton and has filled the role for City on occasion.

Guardiola could also look to the club's academy, where there are high hopes for Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis -18 and 17 respectively and yet to make a Premier League appearance between them. 

"It happens because he is a nice guy, because he is open minded," Guardiola said of versatile Brazil midfielder Fernandinho. "Normally the players know, 'I am playing in that position, just that position, if not I don't play' and that is not the case [with Fernandinho].

"So he is a typical captain. He thinks for the group more than himself, but he is a guy who is incredibly respected in the locker room and by our staff. That is why he can do it.

"He needs some processes defensively, but he is intelligent and has a lot of experience and we will see.

"We will work – unfortunately now we cannot because it is the international break, but we are going to work on it and we need him in this position.

"Because right now we have John and Nico and Dinho and Eric Garcia, or Taylor Bellis - two young guys in the academy who are going to help us to do that."

Pep Guardiola expressed gratitude to Didier Deschamps for picking the "best left-sided central defender in Europe" after Aymeric Laporte finally received a France call-up.

Les Bleus boss Deschamps ended the uncapped Manchester City defender's lengthy exile by naming him in the squad to face Albania and Andorra in Euro 2020 qualifying.

The uncapped 25-year-old has had to be extremely patient for international opportunities despite his consistently excellent displays at the heart of City's defence.

Laporte's performances have forced Guardiola to revise his opinion of the former Athletic Bilbao player, a day after Liverpool counterpart Virgil van Dijk was crowned UEFA Men's Player of the Year.

"It was a mistake when I said he is one of the best – for me he is the best left-sided central defender in Europe," Guardiola said of Laporte, who last won a France call-up in 2017.

"I'm incredibly grateful to Didier Deschamps and so happy for [Laporte] because he deserves it.

"All of us were so happy for him because he was looking for this call for a long time and hopefully he can stay. Now it depends on him."

Kyle Walker was less fortunate on the international front, the England regular squeezed out of Gareth Southgate's latest squad due to a surplus of right-backs.

Guardiola admitted "a little bit" of surprise over the decision but backed the 29-year-old to regain his place.

"Of course, Kyle and myself are not involved. We respect the decision and I think Kyle will come back strong," he said.

"It's [Southgate's] decision, of course I understand him and support the manager of the national team."

Walker's good form at club level has earned him three Premier League starts and restricted new signing Joao Cancelo to a brief cameo in the win over Bournemouth.

"With Joao, we are delighted with what we have seen," the City boss said.

"But he arrived late so was not in pre-season. There are many things Kyle knows completely well.

"Joao is starting to understand what to do and maybe [against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday] or maybe after the international break he will start to play."

Guardiola confirmed injured pair John Stones and Gabriel Jesus are "much better" but doubted whether they would be available for the match at the Etihad Stadium.

Gareth Southgate insists Kyle Walker's omission from the latest England squad does not mean his international career is over.

The Manchester City defender was overlooked for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo despite making a strong start to the season at club level.

Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the recalled Kieran Trippier all made the cut ahead of 29-year-old Walker, an integral member of the side that reached the World Cup semi-finals last year.

Southgate wants to continue developing the international pedigree of younger options but denied a pecking order has now been established.

"It depends on how well everybody does," the Three Lions boss told a news conference.

"I have not said to Kyle that that's it. I think that it was a bit different with [Ashley] Young last year, where we recognised that we were going to have to move forward and unless we were in real difficulty, we wouldn't go back. Kyle is not at that age.

"But I think these [young] guys, I want to have a look at in games that are a good stepping stone for them.

"Without getting Trent's head too big too quickly, he's got to be one of those we look to integrate and give more opportunity to.

"So it's a bit like at a club, if we don't make a pathway then when are you ever going to put them in?

"With Aaron we've got a completely different kind of player, so we've got Trips as a bit of cover around that and there's no point bringing Kyle in if the intention is not to start him in the games.

"He's a senior player and he'll value the rest and recovery as much as anything else."

Aymeric Laporte and several of his Manchester City team-mates have expressed frustration over Gabriel Jesus seeing a late strike against Tottenham disallowed by VAR.

City and Spurs were drawing 2-2 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday when Jesus struck in added time, firing into the bottom-right corner from inside the box.

But celebrations were cut short by VAR with replays showing the ball hit Laporte on the arm during the build-up - and the goal was duly disallowed.

A frustrated Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports "they need to fix" VAR, City having seen video replay decisions go against them in a game with Spurs for the second time this year following April's Champions League drama, when Raheem Sterling had a goal disallowed for offside.

And Guardiola's players steadily followed suit on social media following the game, led by Laporte.

"Tough game! Learning to get used to external factors! Keep working!" the centre-back posted on Twitter.

Jesus was visibly upset by the call, despite referee Michael Oliver attempting to calm him down on the field.

"Great game, lads. Well played, but unfortunately we didn’t get the win," the Brazil striker said. "We scored the goal we needed, but....."

Kyle Walker was at fault for the second Spurs goal, losing Lucas Moura in the City box, but he also pointed a finger of blame at the technology.

"Vary frustrating today. But both teams fought well," he said on Twitter, with a deliberate typo. "Well done to Spurs. Always good to see the boys and fans."

Ilkay Gundogan, meanwhile, agrees with Guardiola's suggestion that rules involving VAR need to be amended for the good of the game.

"Today's VAR decision is really hard to take," the midfielder wrote on social media.

"Any attacker that commits handball, intentional or not, is now ruled a free-kick?? And if you’re defending it’s fine?? It only disadvantages the attacking team.

"In my opinion, this rule needs to be changed."

Joao Cancelo cited Pep Guardiola as a key factor in his decision to join Manchester City, where he is ready to battle with Kyle Walker for the right-back slot.

Portugal international Cancelo completed his switch to the Premier League champions on Wednesday, with Danilo moving in the other direction to Juventus as part of the deal.

Guardiola has made his use of full-backs an integral part of his tactics at the Etihad Stadium and Cancelo is relishing getting to work with the fourth club he will represent in as many seasons.

"Obviously, Pep Guardiola was a big reason for me to join Manchester City. I've always admired him and the way his teams play since he started at Barcelona," he told a news conference.

"It's not by chance that Manchester City have won the last two Premier Leagues and all the domestic trophies in England last season.

"I love his style of play, his character – he's very detail-orientated. That's why I'm here today."

Including the valuation of Danilo, City's deal for Cancelo tallied up to around €60million, although such a hefty price tag does not weigh heavily for the 25-year-old.

Nor does the prospect of challenging for a starting spot against Walker, the England international who signed a new five-year contract in June and starred in Sunday's Community Shield triumph over Liverpool with a magnificent goal-line clearance.

"It's a high price for a right-back but the responsibility is good for me as it will push me to be a better player and to mature to be a better player than I was when I joined," he said.

"I'm aware how Kyle is one of the best full-backs. But I always love challenges, bringing myself to the limit.

"I'm going to compete with him and I'll try to get my place. It will be up to the manager to choose one or the other, but I promise I will try to work hard and compete as best as I can.

"As a player I like new challenges; I was aware of the competition I would find here. Walker is a great player but the more competition you have the better you become as a player. 

"I have a dream to be the best in my position and the only way to do that is by challenging yourself. Only by playing with the best can you do that."

Someone Cancelo places in that bracket is Bernardo Silva, his international team-mate and former Benfica academy colleague with whom he is now reunited in Manchester.

"I've talked with Bernardo Siva several times before and he's said this is an amazing place to be," Cancelo added.

“Bernardo is a great player. We have a great relationship. For me, he is one of the best players in the world. It's a pleasure to play with him.

"The style of play of Manchester City is very good. I feel it is an ideal place for me to develop."

Joao Cancelo's move to Manchester City marks Pep Guardiola's latest upgrade to a position that has become pivotal to his all-conquering tactical approach.

Dani Alves and Eric Abidal starred in Guardiola's celebrated Barcelona side but he truly began to experiment and innovate with full-backs during his time at Bayern Munich.

In order to offset the counter-attacking threat of Bundesliga opponents, he began to deploy Philipp Lahm and David Alaba "tucked-in" alongside their defensive midfielder – a tactic that also aided the control of possession Guardiola so greatly craves. A source close to the Catalan tactician told Omnisport the internal positioning of full-backs is probably his biggest innovation.

Upon his arrival at City in 2016, the Bayern approach was briefly used. However, an aging group of fine club servants – Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov – were not up to the job, to varying degrees. As his team found their feet on the way to a third-placed Premier League finish in 2016-17, Fernandinho was even selected in both full-back positions.

In Guardiola's overhaul that close season, a transfer window that proved key to City's subsequent domestic dominance, the majority of a £221.5million outlay went on full-backs.

There have also been some less-likely solutions found and challenges remain at City in a defensive role the 48-year-old has revolutionised.

Kyle Walker

A weighty £50m acquisition from Tottenham, Walker has proved his worth as first choice throughout City's back-to-back Premier League title triumphs. The pace and athleticism that became his calling card and White Hart Lane were to the fore in an astonishing goal-line clearance during Sunday's Community Shield encounter against Liverpool, but the 29-year-old has proved himself to be a more adaptable performer than many considered.

Walker offers Guardiola in-game flexibility by being able to operate on the right of a back three – a role he also filled throughout England's run to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup. Having penned a five-year contract extension last month, it is possible his future could lie at centre-back.

Benjamin Mendy

Social media comedian and an instant cult-hero for City supporters, a succession of debilitating knee injuries mean the laughs have dried up for Mendy. When fit and firing, the £51.75m signing from Monaco offers a dynamic attacking option from deep and would help to shift the focus of City's attacks down the left if Leroy Sane joins Bayern Munich. At this stage, however, reaching and maintaining full fitness must be the France international's sole focus.

Danilo

Heading in the other direction to Turin as a makeweight in the Cancelo deal, Danilo has rarely let City down when called upon. He enjoyed a brief period as first choice midway through last season when Walker's form waned at right-back but has largely been a victim of the England man becoming one of Guardiola's most trusted performers. Two seasons in Manchester yielded four Premier League goals, five major trophies and a Brazil recall for Russia 2018. Following a torrid time at Real Madrid, the 28-year-old's career is once again moving in the right direction as he begins a new chapter in Turin.

Fabian Delph

Mendy's injury woes forced Guardiola to be creative at left-back and Delph was his most unlikely success story of 2017-18. A career midfielder, he allowed Guardiola to revisit his Bayern template and started 21 league games in City's 100-point season. Form and fitness deserted Delph last time around and the emergence of another unlikely deputy paved the way for his departure to Everton.

Oleksandr Zinchenko

An attacking midfielder by trade and a signing largely expected to be loaned out before being sold at a profit. However, Zinchenko never read that script and seemingly begins 2019-20 as Guardiola's first-choice left-back. Occasional shaky outings in 2017-18 did nothing to suggest such progress but his recovery from a goal-causing error to assist Sergio Aguero in a 3-1 win at Southampton last December proved a turning point.

He was superb as City won the first part of their domestic treble against Chelsea in the EFL Cup final, although Sunday's more torrid outing at Wembley when faced with Mohamed Salah showed the transition from stand-in to specialist can be tough - as Delph would attest.

Angelino

Briefly assessed as an option amid Guardiola's full-back shortfall of 2016, Angelino was loaned to Girona, Mallorca and NAC Breda before joining PSV. An impressive 2018-19 in Eindhoven saw City trigger a buy-back clause for their former academy product, with Guardiola deciding specialist cover at left-back is a must as Mendy continues his latest rehabilitation. Some accident-prone moments in pre-season suggested the 22-year-old has work to do, though.

Joao Cancelo

A technically assured player who attacks with the verve to be expected from a converted winger, Cancelo's skills appear to make him something close to the archetypal Guardiola full-back. His capacity for causing damage in the opposition half makes him a candidate to supply the threat Mendy has fleetingly provided on the opposite flank. Cancelo accounting for that natural width could in turn allow Gabriel Jesus to be fielded on the right of a front three, where he excelled during Brazil's triumphant Copa America campaign.

Talking of Brazilians, Cancelo has cited Alves as a key influence on his playing style. Having been frustrated when his former charge picked Paris Saint-Germain over City in 2017, Guardiola can content himself with having the latest model for his next innovations at full-back. 

Manchester United's bid to improve their backline has seen them make Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka two of the world's most-expensive defenders.

England defender Maguire has joined from Leicester City for a reported £80million, surpassing the record set by Liverpool's capture of Virgil van Dijk.

Earlier in this transfer window United spent £50m to acquire right-back Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace as they commenced a substantial rebuild of their squad.

Maguire has not cost United as much as their biggest signing Paul Pogba, who joined from Juventus in 2016 in a then-world record £89.3m deal, but he is the most expensive defender of all time.

Here, we profile the men at the back who have cost a fair whack.


HARRY MAGUIRE – Leicester City to Manchester United, £80m

The reported £80m fee is a serious outlay for a player who was playing for Hull City in the Championship three years ago.

It has been a rapid rise for Maguire, who is now first choice at the back for England alongside Manchester City defender John Stones. United will hope there is even more to come from the 26-year-old.

VIRGIL VAN DIJK – Southampton to Liverpool, £75m

Liverpool tried unsuccessfully to buy Van Dijk in June 2017 and were accused of tapping him up by Southampton, but the defender's absence from several matchday squads thereafter meant a departure was never far away.

The Reds gave their fans a late Christmas gift in December of the same year, confirming the Netherlands international's arrival and he has looked worth every penny since making the switch to Anfield, winning the Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year last term and helping the club clinch their sixth Champions League title.

LUCAS HERNANDEZ – Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich, £68m

Having featured as France's first-choice left-back in their triumphant 2018 World Cup campaign, it did not take long for other clubs to begin being linked with Hernandez. Bayern were reported to have things tied up with the defender by the end of the year, though it was said they were trying to avoid paying his full release clause.

As it happened, Atletico received the €80m required to trigger Lucas' exit at the end of the 2018-19 season, meaning Bayern secured themselves a player who can cover two positions for the next decade. 

MATTHIJS DE LIGT – Ajax to Juventus, £67.5m

United had been strongly linked with De Ligt earlier in the window but it was Juventus who won the race for his much-coveted signature for a fee that, with add-ons, could eventually rise to a sum similar to Van Dijk's price.

Despite still being a teenager, De Ligt's leadership qualities shone through when he was captain of the Ajax team that won a domestic double and reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.

AYMERIC LAPORTE – Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City, £57m

City had been put off by the fee Southampton wanted for Van Dijk but were more willing to part with what was - in January 2018 - a club-record £57m to sign left-sided French centre-back Laporte.

Though he curiously remains without a senior cap for Les Bleus, Laporte has become a key figure under Pep Guardiola and was City's best defender in 2018-19 as they won an unprecedented domestic treble.

BENJAMIN MENDY – Monaco to Manchester City, £51.75m

City broke the record for a defender when they signed Mendy from Monaco in July 2017, the left-back having quickly established himself as one of Europe's most exciting attacking full-backs as his side won the 2016-17 Ligue 1 title and reached that season's Champions League semi-finals.

His arrival was part of a spectacular overhaul of the City backline, which saw them spend close to £165m on three defenders and goalkeeper Ederson, but two serious knee injuries have badly hindered his time in Manchester so far. 

DAVID LUIZ – Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain, £50m

Paris Saint-Germain paid a whopping fee to sign Brazil international David Luiz from Chelsea in 2014.

He won Ligue 1 in both of his seasons at the Parc des Princes and made it three top-flight titles in a row after he surprisingly returned to Chelsea for £34m in August 2016, claiming his first Premier League winners' medal.

KYLE WALKER – Tottenham to Manchester City, £50m

When Walker joined Spurs from hometown club Sheffield United for £5m in 2009, few would have guessed he would one day become the most expensive English player in history.

Walker, who in June signed a new long-term deal at the Etihad Stadium, quickly established himself as a key component at the back following his July 2017 arrival and he has won two Premier League titles, two EFL Cups and an FA Cup.

AARON WAN-BISSAKA – Crystal Palace to Manchester United, £50m

Walker now has company as his country's most costly player following fellow right-back Wan-Bissaka's arrival on the other side of Manchester.

Wan-Bissaka fits the mould for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who wants young players to spearhead a revival at Old Trafford, and he made 129 tackles last term, more than any other defender across the top five European leagues.

JOHN STONES – Everton to Manchester City, £47.5m

City have certainly shown a willingness to pay large amounts for English talent, with Stones joining the club from Everton in 2016.

The 25-year-old had a difficult first campaign as Guardiola's side under-performed. His displays have since improved considerably, although he largely spent the final weeks of last season among the substitutes. 

(*Prices are as reported at the time of transfers being completed.)

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