Pep Guardiola set for transfer battle with Barcelona as Man City eye €120m starlet

Man City and Barcelona are reportedly leading the race to sign Joao Felix from Benfica this summer, but it remains to be seen who will land his signature.

The 19-year-old has had quite the breakthrough this season, scoring 20 goals and providing 11 assists in 43 appearances in all competitions at both senior and youth level.

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In turn, it’s no surprise that he has attracted interest from other clubs around Europe, and it appears as though two in particular are keen to snap him up.

According to Sport, via TVi24, it’s suggested that City and Barcelona are in the strongest positions to sign Felix this summer, although it’s worth stressing that there is no suggestion that a deal is close for either European giant just yet.

Nevertheless, one of the key factors for any interested party will be to meet his current €120m release clause to prise him away from Benfica, with the Portuguese outfit surely keen to keep hold of him for as long as possible to not only help them in their bid to win trophies, but also to maximise his valuation.

Perhaps one of the biggest issues for Barcelona will be if they have the funds to sign Felix, with BBC Sport noting that they’re already splashing out €75m+ on Frenkie de Jong.

Further, ESPN have suggested that it could take around €80m to prise his current Ajax teammate Matthijs de Ligt away from the Eredivisie champions, and so time will tell if they can compete for Felix’s signature on top of that.

For Man City and Guardiola though, having secured a domestic treble this past season, the Spanish tactician will surely be looking for key long-term additions to replace stalwarts such as Vincent Kompany, Fernandinho and David Silva, with Felix perhaps stepping in for the Spaniard moving forward if a deal can be done.

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