Manchester City monitor 18-year-old Leicester centre back Ben Nelson


Manchester City monitor 18-year-old Leicester centre back Ben Nelson as Premier League champions target homegrown talent – and Pep Guardiola’s staff have also looked at Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite

  • Premier League clubs have begun to bolster their ranks with homegrown talent 
  • Brexit regulations have curbed their ability to stockpile foreign players
  • Manchester City are monitoring the 18-year-old who is considered a real talent
  • Ben Nelson is due to go on tour with England U18s this week to Zagreb, Croatia 

Manchester City are monitoring highly-rated Leicester City centre-back Ben Nelson. 

The 18-year-old has been included in first team squads over the past year under Brendan Rodgers and is tipped to make a breakthrough this season. 

A tall and physical defender, Nelson, who has been capped previously by Scotland at international youth level, is due to travel with England U18s this week as they take on Wales, Austria and Croatia in Zagreb. 

Ben Nelson (R) alongside Daniel Amartey during Leicester’s pre-season last summer

Manchester City, like many of the Premier League’s elite clubs, are looking to bolster their ranks with top homegrown talent in the wake of Brexit and new recruitment guidelines. 

Their scouts have noted Nelson’s progress and are continuing to check his development as they consider a potential move. Nelson played in pre-season games last summer and has been a regular in the club’s U23s on the back of being the academy player of the year in 20/21. 

Leicester are willing to offload Jannik Vestergaard this summer, as reported by Sportsmail, and that could open the first team window of opportunity for Nelson as he looks to compete with Jonny Evans, Wesley Fofana and Caglar Soyuncu. 

The young centre back is thought to be extremely highly rated within the game

The young centre back is thought to be extremely highly rated within the game

Should Premier League champions City firm up their interest, the prospect of a pathway to Leicester’s first team would likely prove a telling factor in any decision the teenager makes. City have been sending their younger players out on loan to sister clubs and others who share a similar philosophy to manager Pep Guardiola.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis, their 20-year-old centre-back for example, is a potential loan target for Burnley where Vincent Kompany is poised to become manager and Celtic. 

Harwood-Bellis has previously had spells at Anderlecht, Blackburn and Stoke. City are also understood to have looked at Everton’s 19-year-old left-sided centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite. 

Ben Nelson will have a decision to make on his future should Manchester City firm up their interest in him

Ben Nelson will have a decision to make on his future should Manchester City firm up their interest in him

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