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Manchester City leading major Premier League rival in £103 million Benfica teenager pursuit



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Manchester City are currently leading the race to sign Benfica star Joao Neves, but could face competition from rivals Manchester United.

The 19-year-old, who could make his senior debut for Portugal during the current international break after receiving a maiden call-up, has emerged as a midfield target for Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola added Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes to his midfield during the recent summer transfer window, following the departure of club captain Ilkay Gundogan and long-term hamstring injury sustained by Kevin De Bruyne.

Manchester City have also recently struggled amid Rodri’s three-match suspension, with the Blues suffering defeats to Newcastle, Wolves and Arsenal amid the absence of the Spain midfielder.

The Sky Blues dropped to third in the table after suffering back-to-back Premier League defeats, as Tottenham and Arsenal emerged as early potential title rivals, alongside a rejuvenated Liverpool.

Manchester City’s midfield has struggled to cope without Rodri, leaking goals and unable to create chances – with just four attempts registered during Sunday’s loss to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in north London.

The treble-winners could therefore look to bolster their midfield again next summer, with Benfica teenager Joao Neves reportedly emerging as a potential transfer target.

The 19-year-old, who can play in central midfield and as a defensive midfielder, has made 11 appearances for Benfica so far this season, including starts in two UEFA Champions League Group Stage matches.

Neves is rumoured to have a £103 million release clause within his long-term Benfica contract, however according to 90min, Manchester City currently lead the race to sign the Portugal midfielder.

The Blues are ahead of local rivals Manchester United; however Borussia Dortmund, PSG and Juventus are all reportedly monitoring the teenage midfielder.

The Benfica star is represented by agent Jorge Mendes, and Manchester City have previously enjoyed success when signing players from the Portuguese club.

Manchester City trio Bernardo Silva, Ederson and Ruben Dias all have close links to Benfica.