Cole Palmer will sit down and discuss his Manchester City future in the coming days – with winger seeking first-team football

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Cole Palmer is set to thrash out his Manchester City future during talks over the coming days after another eye-catching performance again demonstrated the quality Pep Guardiola has at his disposal.

His headed equaliser forced Wednesday’s Super Cup final to penalties, with City eventually prevailing against Sevilla, but where Palmer heads now is unknown.

The 21-year-old wants more regular minutes after two seasons bedding into the squad yet is unsure of Guardiola’s plans for him given that City are attempting to land Jeremy Doku from Rennes.

Palmer has been seen as the natural successor to his biggest admirer Riyad Mahrez, who acted as a mentor and was straight on the phone for a congratulatory exchange minutes after England’s Under 21s lifted the European Championship in July.

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But City are looking at doing a deal for Doku to inject pace into their attack, while already boasting Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva – both of whom spent significant time on the right wing during the Treble season.

Manchester City star Cole Palmer has been in scintillating form in the early weeks of 2023-24

Manchester City star Cole Palmer has been in scintillating form in the early weeks of 2023-24

Palmer has impressed under Pep Guardiola's (right) guidance in the early stages of the season

Palmer has impressed under Pep Guardiola’s (right) guidance in the early stages of the season 

Brighton and West Ham United are among those interested in Palmer, valued at more than £30million, and Guardiola has revealed that the academy product either stays or leaves permanently. City have no intention of allowing him to go on loan.

‘I have no idea,’ Palmer said when asked what he expects to happen before the transfer window closes. 

‘I just want to play football. So whatever the best decision is when we speak together, that is what I will do.

‘Obviously the best scenario is to stay at City and play but you know what the competition is like, if they bring someone in… I don’t know. I just want to play regularly, lots of minutes. We will see.’

Palmer’s goal in the Super Cup followed up a stunner against Arsenal during the Community Shield defeat earlier in the month. 

When handed the chance in his natural position, the wiry forward cutting in on his left foot, he generally excels. And certainly excites.

City's long-standing interest in Rennes winger Jeremy Doku leaves Palmer's future uncertain

City’s long-standing interest in Rennes winger Jeremy Doku leaves Palmer’s future uncertain

Last season, the year City thought he would truly break through, was a struggle. Injury curtailed the start and opportunities were handed in cameos and largely on the opposite flank. By his own admission, Palmer didn’t do himself justice and tried too hard to impact games – often going alone, taking pot shots – given the limited minutes on offer.

There has been a sense of that changing over the past few weeks. Buoyed by a key role in the Under-21 Euro campaign, a tournament in which he excelled as a deeper central midfielder in a win over Germany, Palmer looks to have a clearer mind. 

With Guardiola, it comes down to trust and decision-making, the former a product of the latter. 

Palmer’s choices in possession have improved. He seems more confident; so confident that he told Erling Haaland to leave Rodri’s cross in Athens so he could nod in.

‘It’s been a couple of good games for me but I don’t know,’ he added. ‘I will have to see what the future holds. This summer I was playing a lot (with England) and when we came back I was given the opportunity twice.

‘I have always been confident but it’s more rhythm, match sharpness and stuff like that. It really helps when you are playing consistently.’

Palmer scored a curling effort to give Manchester City the lead in the Community Shield

Palmer scored a curling effort to give Manchester City the lead in the Community Shield

Progress over a new contract halted some time ago; Palmer still only has three Premier League starts in his 41 senior appearances. 

Guardiola wants him to stay and there must surely be a way of making sure Palmer is playing enough to both aid his development and the team’s fortunes.

The academy’s staggering profits, standing at £24m and counting this year already, is all well and good – reinvested into the first team – but when they have nurtured a youngster this naturally gifted, born in Wythenshawe and with the club since the age of eight, there has to be a duty to see it through.

Jason Wilcox, the former academy director now at Southampton, deserves the credit for Palmer’s rise, vouching for him when others wanted to cut him loose in 2018 as scholarships were being awarded. He was held back in the Under 18s rather than going up to the development squad, partly because of his slight frame, and kicked on at electrifying speed.

City’s backroom staff marvelled at how fearless Palmer was in training two years ago, remarking he was often the standout in sessions that can swallow far more experienced players. 

There was a bump in the road last term yet Palmer simply has too much potential to sell – even with a buyback clause.

The 21-year-old wheeled away in celebration after notching the opener against the Gunners

The 21-year-old wheeled away in celebration after notching the opener against the Gunners


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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