Real Madrid are reportedly set to rival Manchester City in the race to sign Portuguese wonderkid Nuno Mendes from Sporting CP this summer.
According to a report from Daily Mirror, Real Madrid are set to go head-to-head with Premier League champions Manchester City for the transfer of 18-year-old Portuguese left-back Nuno Mendes from Sporting CP this summer.
Mendes is a product of the Sporting youth academy and made his first-team bow during the post-lockdown period in the 2019/20 season. Since then, the teenage left-back has been pretty much an ever-present in the starting XI under Ruben Amorim. He featured 35 times this past season, scoring once and setting up two more, playing his part in the Lions’ Liga NOS title triumph.
Mendes’ rise to prominence over the past year in Portugal has seen him gather a lot of admirers as the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked with a move for the 18-year-old previously. However, it is Manchester City that have emerged as potentially the strongest contenders to land the full-back, who made his international debut for Portugal in March earlier this year.
Manchester City’s left-back slot remains a problem for Pep Guardiola that the club are keen to address this summer. The huge investment in Benjamin Mendy has failed to pay off as expected, with the Frenchman struggling for fitness. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Joao Cancelo have been used to good effect in the position but neither is a natural left-back and tend to get caught out defensively.
The Premier League champions, to that end, are looking to resolve the issue and have earmarked Mendes as the ideal solution. To that end, Manchester City even opened talks with the youngster’s representatives back in May. However, they are yet to trigger the teenager’s £60.1 million release clause and plans have been put on hold for now until the Euros are over.
This could allow Real Madrid to swoop in and make a move for the 18-year-old, with the Los Blancos set to rival Manchester City for Mendes. In Ferland Mendy, the Merengues have a reliable option as the first-choice left-back. However, Marcelo is fast approaching his final years and has been linked with a transfer away from the club this summer.
While youngster Miguel Gutierrez did show promise towards the end of the last season, Real Madrid could still go for Mendes given that he has had close to eighteen months of first-team football under his belt already. Manchester City, in their bid to stave off competition for the teenager, could use their Portuguese contingent of Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva to convince the teenager to move to the Etihad.
It now remains to be seen who among the two giants of Europe comes out on top in the race to sign the immensely talented Mendes in the summer transfer window.