According to the Daily Mail, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says reported Derby County target Liam Delap will be promoted to the first team squad next season.
Delap joined City’s academy from Derby and made his first team debut this season.
The 18-year-old has an abundance of talent, scoring 20 Premier League 2 goals for City’s U23 side and attracting plenty of attention ahead of the summer.
A recent report from Football League World claim Derby, Stoke City and Bournemouth are among those in the Championship seeking a loan deal for next season.
But Guardiola’s latest comments suggest Delap will instead remain at City.
“Liam is doing incredibly well – we are in touch with Enzo Maresca [City’s Elite Development Squad manager] to see how the player are developing. Next season he will be with us, training with us every day. He’s a different striker to what we have in terms of physicality. We see in training how good a finisher he is. Now he has to be calm and keep working. We are delighted with his performance – he played really well,” Guardiola explained.
Derby were powerless to stop Delap from leaving their academy to join City.
In a similar situation to Kaide Gordon’s recent switch to Liverpool, Delap was only on a scholarship deal at Pride Park and was available to leave Derby for a compensation fee.
The England U18 international is being dubbed a potential long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero, with the Argentine superstar set to leave City this coming summer.
Derby will need to address their striker options this summer after a disappointing campaign in-front of goal.
Martyn Waghorn is out of contract, while Lee Gregory will return to parent club Stoke City after his loan. Jack Marriott, meanwhile, has fallen out of favour at Pride Park.
Also see: Rooney says Derby duo likely to miss Reading clash with injury
Also see: Rooney suggests Derby have agreement with United to sign talent for next season