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Doku in – Palmer out: Three possible destinations for Man City prodigy

Manchester City are on the verge of completing a €65 million signing of quicksilver forward Jeremy Doku from Rennes. 

The 21-year-old winger will soon undergo a medical at the Etihad Stadium before penning a multi-year contract.

Manager Pep Guardiola is inching closer to replacing Riyad Mahrez, who joined Al-Ahli last month.

Doku’s imminent arrival could lead to Cole Palmer’s exit despite the youngster’s eye-catching showings at the start of this season. 

He took advantage of the shortage of numbers in the front third to hug the spotlight in non-Premier League games, getting on the scoresheet in both the Community Shield and European Super Cup.

Regardless of his impressive performances in those showpiece events, Palmer could be allowed to leave Man City to make room for the incoming recruit after informing Guardiola of his wish to play regularly this season.

It’s understood Palmer will either be handed a prominent role in the squad or cut loose permanently, with the Spanish manager quashing the prospect of loaning him out.

Since the latter scenario seems like a more plausible solution, we’ll take stock of the 2023 UEFA U21 European Championship winner’s future.

Let’s look at the three potential destinations for Palmer.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Long before Roberto De Zerbi’s appointment as the new manager, Brighton had gained a reputation for developing some of the hottest prospects in Europe, let alone the Premier League.

The big-money sales of Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo are only the tip of the iceberg, with the Seagulls boasting a wealth of promising young talent within their ranks, such as Kaoru Mitoma and Evan Ferguson.

Brighton turned Levi Colwill into an established Premier League defender last season before reluctantly letting him return to his parent club Chelsea this summer. 

On that basis, the Amex Stadium could be an attractive landing spot for Palmer. It may also benefit Man City further down the line, especially with up-and-coming Ferguson catching Guardiola’s attention.

West Ham United

It’s been a summer of frustration for West Ham as they’ve gone beyond and above to replace Declan Rice, who swapped allegiances in the capital to team up with Arsenal.

James Ward-Prowse has touched down at the London Stadium to fill the void. But David Moyes remains in the market for another reinforcement after letting Gianluca Scamacca return to Serie A.

Although the new Atalanta signing failed to impress in the Premier League and plays a different role to Palmer, the Man City youngster could still be an exciting option for the Hammers.

Flushed with cash, West Ham should have no problems affording the Englishman’s signature, although heated talks over Lucas Paqueta’s switch to the Etihad could undermine their effort to get a deal over the line.

Borussia Dortmund

While it’s difficult to imagine Palmer leaving the country, Borussia Dortmund are well-versed in luring top-notch English talents to Germany in recent years. 

After turning Jadon Sancho into one of Europe’s most wanted forwards before sanctioning his blockbuster move to Manchester United in 2021, they made half of the continent go crazy about Jude Bellingham.

The midfielder has already started paying Real Madrid back for a staggering amount of money they put forward to lure him away from the Bundesliga in June. 

Palmer may follow in the footsteps of his former international colleagues, but it’s a long shot, although a move to Signal Iduna Park would likely help his development.

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