Manchester City sporting director Txiki Begiristain has sat down with Jorge Mendes to explore the possibility of a transfer for Benfica’s Joao Felix.
The 19-year-old has burst onto the scene in the 2018-19 campaign, earning a regular spot in Benfica’s starting line up after producing a number of superb displays in both the Primeira Liga and Europa League.
The Portuguese starlet has scored 15 goals in 32 appearances across all competitions, attracting the attention several top clubs across Europe’s major leagues, including Manchester United and Juventus – as per MEN.
Goal reports that City have stolen a march on their rivals, however, after opening talks with Felix’s agent to discuss a possible summer switch to the Etihad Stadium.
Begiristain and Mendes met shortly after the City chief watched Felix in action for Benfica in the Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt, where he scored a sublime hat-trick in the first leg of a quarterfinal tie.
According to Goal, City have a strong relationship with Mendes and are hopeful of arranging a deal, but they are unwilling to match the £103 million buy-out clause in the teenager’s current contract.
The Premier League champions could afford such an extravagant fee, but they do not want to get drawn into an ugly bidding war, with a whole host of potential suitors lining up offers.
The personal touch in negotiations is City’s best chance of landing Felix, but it remains to be seen whether or not he can be lured to Manchester at this stage of his fledgeling career.
Benfica will surely want to keep hold of their most prized asset for at least one more season, with his value set to increase significantly with each passing year and it might be the best thing for his development to continue playing regular football at Estadio Da Luz for the time being.
That being said, the prospect of such a talented player starring in the Premier League for one of the most free-flowing sides in Europe is a tantalising one and he might relish the opportunity.
Pep Guardiola will be hoping to strengthen his squad significantly this summer and signing Felix would be a huge transfer coup for the club, as they look to maintain their recent dominance in England and finally conquer the Champions League.