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Manchester City identify €100 million midfielder wanted by Manchester United as transfer ‘priority’ amid Kevin De Bruyne uncertainty



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Officials at Manchester City have identified a new midfield name as a ‘priority’ transfer target this summer amid ongoing uncertainty over the future of Kevin De Bruyne.

The Belgium international captain is currently in the midst of his well-earned summer break and taking in the Ibiza sunshine with family and friends, but will no doubt be thinking about his future on the pitch.

De Bruyne is at the centre of increasingly intense transfer attention from ambitious Saudi Arabian decision makers, and recently kept the door open to discussions with the Middle-East football league when quizzed on his future.

“At my age you have to be open,” De Bruyne recently admitted during media duties with a Belgian newspaper. “You’re talking about incredible amounts of money in what may be the end of my career.

“Sometimes you have to think about that. If I play there for two years, I’ll be able to earn an incredible amount. Before that I had to play football for 15 years. I may not even reach that amount yet,” he continued.

“Then you have to think about what that could mean next. But at the moment I haven’t had to think about that yet.”

And now, in light of the uncertainty surrounding Kevin De Bruyne’s Manchester City future beyond this summer, reports from elsewhere in Europe have pointed towards the plans being put in place by the English top-flight champions.

According to the information of Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, Benfica’s Joao Neves is ‘highly sought after’ this summer, and his continued presence at the Portuguese club is now ‘at risk’, with Manchester City the latest to have put the player on a ‘priority list of targets to attack’.

But any move for the highly-rated Portugal international is said to be dependent on whether Kevin De Bruyne leaves the club, amid ongoing concerns over a potential switch to Saudi Arabia, with the Belgian yet to make a decision on his club future.

As for João Neves, the 19-year-old is said to be a player that ‘pleases’ City manager Pep Guardiola as well as the Etihad club’s management, who have reportedly admitted to entering a race that already includes the likes of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.

With the size and stature of the club’s reportedly interested in Neves, O Jogo report that Benfica are therefore expecting an auction for their next breakthrough talent, and expect to receive over €100 million for the player.

Elsewhere in the summer transfer market, and particularly in the central midfield department, Manchester City continue to weigh up their options with regards to a long list of other alternative targets.

RB Leipzig and impressive Spain international Dani Olmo remains a target for Etihad Stadium officials, despite no concrete work having been put in place on the player thus far. Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes is also a separate candidate to fulfil vacant midfield requirements.

Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich is also yet to offer any further clarity on his own future this summer, but is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks following his exit from the European Championships with Germany.