Media Watch

Media Watch: City step up chase for Benfica ace?

Media Watch: City step up chase for Benfica ace?
There’s no shortage of transfer tales and intrigue surrounding Manchester City today as the summer speculation moves into overdrive.

First up there is a report of an alleged new twist in the battle to sign highly rated Portuguese teenager Joao Felix from the Mirror’s Simon Mullock.

The Mirror man claims: “Manchester City are willing to buy Portugal wonderkid Joao Felix and loan him back to Benfica next season in a bid to help them win the race to sign the £105million-rated striker.

“They are battling Manchester United and Atletico Madrid for the 19-year-old international.

“And Atletico believe they have taken a huge step towards sealing a deal by giving Felix assurances he will get regular first-team football if he moves to Spain.

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“But Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira revealed last week that Felix has been offered a lucrative deal to join a Premier League club.

“He also hinted the Lisbon club were hoping to broker an agreement that would see Felix stay in Portugal for another year.

“And Mirror Sport understands Pep Guardiola’s plans for the next campaign do not include adding another forward to his squad.

“They are hoping their willingness to allow Felix to remain with Benfica for another 12 months will give them the edge in negotiations.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail have the latest on another long-running saga this time involving young Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri who has also been constantly linked with City all summer long.

Mail man Simon Jones writes: "Manchester City hope to have a positive response from Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri this week after he asked for time to consider a £62million move.

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The 22-year-old also has interest from Bayern Munich and Manchester United, while Atletico have offered him a new contract.

“Rodri, a defensive-minded midfielder, was a first-team regular for Atletico last season, featuring 35 times in La Liga.

“He joined Atletico in July 2018 after helping Villarreal to a fifth-placed finish.

“Rodri has been capped six times by Spain, having made his international debut in March 2018.”

There is also an update on the future of Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo from, another long-term rumoured City target.

Daniel Lewis speculates: “City are reportedly close to finalising their first piece of business of the summer as Juventus have agreed to sell Joao Cancelo.

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"The 25-year-old has spent just one season at the Allianz Stadium, featuring 34 times in all competitions.

"Italian outlet Calciomercato claims that incoming Juve boss Maurizio Sarri is prepared to sanction Cancelo's exit because of tactical reasons.

"City are now expected to wrap up the transfer to add some competition for Kyle Walker at right-back.

"Cancelo, capped 14 times by Portugal, has also previously been touted as a target for Manchester United.

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Finally, with the European Under-21 Championships kicking off today in Italy, City and England's Phil Foden is highlighted as one of the potential stars of the tournament by BBC Sport online.

The Beeb scribe: “You have to be special to make 26 first-team appearances for Manchester City in a domestic treble-winning season. And 19-year-old Phil Foden is just that.

“He scored seven goals this season - including the only strike in an important Premier League win over Tottenham in April.

“Boss Pep Guardiola says attacking midfielder Foden "will be an important player for the next decade" for City - and has been compared to Xavi and Andres Iniesta by BBC pundit Pat Nevin.

Foden - named the best player at the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in 2017 - is again likely to be crucial to England's hopes.”

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