Kompany defied City manager Roberto Mancini when he appeared for Belgium on March 26 after two months out with a calf injury. It caused a conflict between the two, and a trio of leading European clubs are monitoring the situation in case the rift widens, according to the Telegraph.
“Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are all on alert following the public club-versus-country row between Mancini and his captain,” the report says. “The trio … are long-term admirers of the Belgian, rated among the best central defenders in the world, and they are prepared to explore whether Kompany’s recent fallout with Mancini has any long-term consequences.”
Kompany joins a growing list of City players who have run afoul of Mancini, but his case comes at an especially awkward time. City struggled through the winter months and has all but conceded this year’s Premier League title race to Manchester United. It is starting to plan for next season, and the fit-again Kompany is expected to remain a cornerstone of its on-field efforts.
Few expect the rift between Mancini and Kompany to result in either leaving the club, as both signed long-term contract extensions in July. But if neither one takes steps to end the conflict, Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid would be more than willing to offer the towering defender a new beginning.
Barcelona reportedly wants Kompany as a long-term replacement for the aging Carles Puyol. The Mail reports that the Spanish champion-elect has already informed City of its interest in Kompany and is ready to bid £20 million ($30.4 million) for the 26-year-old. During normal times, City would not be in the business of selling its key players, but it could be tempted to do so if Kompany or Mancini force the issue.
Kompany joined City in 2008 from German club Hamburg SV. His arrival and development coincided with City’s rise to the top of the English game. Kompany’s defensive abilities and leadership have helped the club to FA Cup and Premier League glory in recent seasons. While the club expects to build on that success and become a regular contender for European and international honors., selling its captain and most influential defender to a continental rival would only slow that process.
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