Manchester City have reportedly joined the double chase for Portuguese midfielders Joao Felix and Bruno Fernandes, who are both Manchester United targets.
According to a report by Portuguese publication Record, Manchester City are set to battle Manchester United in pursuit of two Portuguese sensations in the summer transfer window. The Premier League champions are interested in signing Joao Felix and Bruno Fernandes and are attempting to steal a march on their local rivals for the duo.
Portugal has always been a country that has produced an assembly line of footballing gems, thanks to the fantastic academy setups at various top clubs. The latest players who are generating a lot of excitement around them, while seeing their reputations burgeon, are Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix.
Two attacking midfielders that have proven to be prolific contributors over the course of the season, the duo have put Portugal on the map yet again. While Joao Felix has been quickly ascending the stairs to superstardom, Bruno Fernandes has led by example at Sporting Lisbon in the wake of a summer exodus, following the infamous training ground incident.
Among them, the midfielders have a staggering return of 49 goals and 27 assists in 91 appearances. With numbers such as the ones they boast of, it is hardly surprising that a number of top European clubs have started taking an interest in them. One common thread binding the two is Manchester United.
A club in disarray at the moment, Manchester United are in serious need of goals, with the front men not managing to be consistent enough lately. The addition of Fernandes and Felix would also boost creativity among the ranks at Old Trafford.
The duo could also possibly be top replacements for Paul Pogba and Juan Mata, both of whom have been heavily linked with summer departures from the club. Manchester United though, now face stiff competition from local rivals Manchester City in pursuit of the Portuguese superstars.
The chase for the two prolific midfielders seems to be well thought out, with David Silva approaching the end of his glittering career, while Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus could be on their way out of the club, as per the report. Felix also seems to be popular among Manchester City talisman Bernardo Silva, who has urged the Citizens to sign the promising teenager.
Indeed, the presence of Bernardo Silva at the Etihad should give Manchester City an edge, while director of football Txiki Begiristain has already met with Felix’s parents in a bid to move ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign him.
In addition to the aforementioned factors, City can offer Champions League football, as well as a stable atmosphere to grow in. Manchester United could thus, have an uphill task to convince either or both of Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix to make their way to Old Trafford.
The report suggests that the operation of signing both Felix and Fernandes would cost upwards of £150 million, which is unlikely to faze either of the Manchester clubs. It now remains to be seen if City can beat United in the transfer market as well, or if the Red Devils prevail in the two races instead.