Real Madrid are reportedly set to face serious competition from Manchester City in their pursuit of Sporting Lisbon wonderkid Nuno Mendes.
According to a report from Spanish publication AS, Premier League leaders Manchester City are plotting a scheme to pip Real Madrid in the race to sign Portuguese wonderkid Nuno Mendes from Sporting Lisbon in the summer transfer window.
Mendes, 18, came through the youth ranks at Sporting Lisbon and was fast-tracked into the first-team, with the teenage full-back making his debut towards the end of the last season. Since then, he has gone on to become a regular in the side, turning quite a few heads with his performances along the way.
So far this season, Mendes has featured 25 times across all competitions, producing a tally of one goal and two assists in the process. The left-back’s progress and immense potential have alerted Real Madrid, who have expressed an interested in signing the Portuguese starlet.
As things stand, Real Madrid have Ferland Mendy as their first-choice at left-back, with long-time servant Marcelo dropping down the pecking order following his sharp decline over the past year. With the Brazilian entering the final stages of his career, it is time for Los Blancos to secure a long-term replacement for him.
Real Madrid have recently been linked with Valencia’s Jose Gaya, while a potential return for Theo Hernandez has also been mooted. But, Nuno Mendes is also said to be high on the wishlist for the Merengues. However, they are now facing the risk of missing out on his signing as Manchester City threaten to swoop.
Unlike Real Madrid, Manchester City do not have an urgent need for reinforcement at left-back. In Joao Cancelo, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Benjamin Mendy, Pep Guardiola has enough options at his disposal while Nathan Ake can also play in the position if there’s a need.
However, Mendy’s recurring injury issues have become a frustrating matter for Manchester City and the club may look to replace the Frenchman in the near future. Mendes, to that end, can be a viable option to come in and eventually grow into the role with time and experience.
The report states that Manchester City have made up their mind to topple Real Madrid and other interested parties to capture the 18-year-old’s signing. To that end, they are even open to the possibility of signing Mendes and loaning him back to Sporting for a season.
The Premier League champions-elect have a good working relationship with the Portuguese outfit and view the potential loan spell as an ideal scenario to assess Mendes’ abilities, given that Sporting could be playing Champions League football next season.
It now remains to be seen whether Real Madrid are able to secure the signing of Mendes or they end up getting beaten by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City for the 18-year-old’s transfer.