Man City reportedly held talks with Sporting Lisbon officials this week, and made an attempt to try and pip Man Utd to the signing of Bruno Fernandes.
Pep Guardiola led his side to a domestic treble last season as he has built a brilliant squad with quality and depth to compete on multiple fronts for the foreseeable future.
However, the Spanish tactician is seemingly not yet content, as he’ll want to defend their domestic honours next season while also trying to end their wait for Champions League glory too.
With that in mind, Rodri has already arrived at the Etihad with BBC Sport noting that they’ve broken their club transfer record with his £62.8m signing from Atletico Madrid, and so that’s a serious statement of intent in itself.
Now though, as reported by The Mirror, during talks with Sporting this week about building a partnership between the two clubs, it’s claimed that City tried to advance their position in the race for £70m-rated Fernandes.
However, it’s added that Man Utd are still being touted as favourites to sign the Portuguese international, although evidently there will be some concern that City are attempting to hijack their swoop for the midfield ace.
Fernandes, 24, is coming off the back of an incredible season in which he bagged 32 goals and 18 assists in 53 appearances across all competitions, and so it’s no surprise that he is attracting plenty of interest.
Time will tell though if it’s Man Utd or Man City that win the battle for his signature, as if it’s the latter, it would be another sensible long-term addition to replace a stalwart.
With Rodri expected to step in and lighten the burden on Fernandinho moving forward, Fernandes could be the ideal signing to replace David Silva, with the Independent noting that the club legend has already revealed that this will be his last season with the reigning Premier League champions.
It’s clever work from City in that sense, although they’ll still have to find a long-term replacement for former defensive leader Vincent Kompany after his exit this summer.