Man City have already been warned about difficulty of signing ‘£53m’ Brighton star on ‘wishlist’

Alexis Mac Allister is reportedly a summer transfer for Manchester City, along with Jude Bellingham.

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Manchester City are interested in signing Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister this summer, according to reports.

The Argentinian, who played a key role in his country’s success in Qatar last year, has enjoyed a superb season for the Seagulls. Mac Allister has played 26 games in all competitions for Brighton and has netted nine times.

As per the Daily Mail, the 24-year-old has been identified as a player on City’s ‘transfer wishlist’ with the club said to have a ‘significant wedge of money’ to spend on summer incomings.

But Brighton have proved difficult to negotiate with in the past. City had targeted Marc Cucurella last summer but ultimately would not meet the club’s valuation of the player, who ended up joining Chelsea instead. The Seagulls also knocked back a reported bid of £70m from Arsenal for Moises Caicedo in January, despite the player writing a goodbye post on social media. Therefore, any potential move for Mac Allister is not likely to come cheap.

Speaking in February, Brighton’s chief executive Paul Barber explained the club’s approach to departures, and why Caicedo’s sale was not sanctioned. “In the case of Caicedo, it may well have been right for the club that wanted him, it may well have been right for him personally, but it wasn’t right for our club and so the answer was no and he stayed,” he told JP&T: The Football Friendly podcast.

“There was no amount of money during January that was going to allow us or commit us to parting company with Moises. It was a critical player; we’re sixth in the Premier League, we are going well, and we want to try and finish as high as we possibly can because we have an opportunity for the first time in our history to do even better than we have done previously, which was finishing ninth in the Premier League."

"Provided it is right for us with the finances and the contractual position, we are not going to stand in someone’s way and the same is true of players, but it has to be right for us as well as them,” he added, before explaining that Leandro Trossard was allowed to leave in January as ‘it was the right time for him and us’.”

Meanwhile, The Athletic claim Brighton rejected a £35m offer from Aston Villa for Yves Bissouma in January 2022 as they were not willing to sell the player mid-season, and Arsenal had five offers rejected for Ben White before they eventually matched the club’s price demands in 2021.

“[Barber] is never put under any pressure during transfer windows to begin balancing the books, even though he’d ideally like to find ways of starting to pay the owner some of his money back,” the outlet added.

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano also feels Brighton will be difficult to negotiate with this summer, and claim City may need to part with at least £53m to sign the player. “I expect Alexis Mac Allister to have a very good chance to make his top club move in the summer, this is the player’s idea,” Romano wrote earlier this month in his Caught Offside column.

“But I’m also sure Brighton will be tough in the negotiations, as always. There are really many clubs following Mac Allister, at this stage everything is premature. I don’t expect him to move for less than €60m [£53m].”