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Having joined City on the back of a powerful season for Aston Villa in 2015, Fabian Delph has gone on to make just 19 starts in two seasons at the Etihad, with a total of 40 appearances. He has struggled to establish himself at City with his progress being hampered by injuries, and a managerial change.
The England international could be interested in a move in search of regular first-team football if he finds his opportunities limited next season under Guardiola. Multiple clubs have been linked with both loan and permanent moves, but a loan move has been preferred, with it being ideal for both sides, giving both the clubs a chance to assess Delph. However, City are also open to selling Delph as part of their summer clearout.
Despite already signing Darren Fletcher, Hughes wants another central midfielder in the squad with Glenn Whelan braced for a switch to the Championship.
“That’s been ongoing for a couple of weeks now and we just have to be patient. With loan deals it’s always the parent club that dictates who and when players go out. He is one of a number of players we are looking at, but we speak to a lot of clubs and ask about their plans for certain players.”
“Fabian is one that we have asked about, because he is a good footballer, but with certain deals you are in the hands of other clubs.”
One of the classic English box-to-box players, Fabian Delph balances his attacking duties perfectly with the protection of the back four, managing to make marauding runs, or play the ball to a winger, and come back in time to break the play when needed.
Hughes has already added Darren Fletcher and Josh Tymon to his squad, but long-serving duo Jonathan Walters and Glenn Whelan face departures to Burnley and Villa, and Delph would bring in some depleted experience to the squad.
When he is fit and in form, then Stoke would have the sort of influence they have lacked since Steven Nzonzi’s departure to Sevilla two years ago.
A move away from the Etihad is what’s required for Delph if he has any hopes of featuring in Gareth Southgate’s England squad. With a £12million price tag, many clubs are pushed off by the figure, but this a transfer that would help both City and Delph.