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    City Expect ‘Fierce’ Battle For £101.5M Portuguese Playmaker Who Bernardo Silva Wants At The Etihad

    Manchester City are lining up a bid for Benfica’s Joao Neves if Kevin De Bruyne leaves the club this summer, according to TEAMtalk.

    The website claims that the Premier League champions are preparing for the eventuality that De Bruyne will depart the Etihad before the transfer window closes.

    With the Belgian having less than a year left on his contract, it is believed he could be on the move to Saudi Arabia over the coming weeks.

    Reports have indicated that the Cityzens are considering a whole host of players who could replace De Bruyne but Neves seems to be one of the leading candidates.

    Other Premier League clubs could compete with City for the midfielder

    TEAMtalk say that sources have told them that the battle for Neves’s signature “could become fierce”, with rivals Manchester United also pursuing the Portuguese international.

    Arsenal are known to be keeping tabs on the playmaker too, with journalist Fabrizio Romano having mentioned their name, along with City and United, last month.

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    Silva has urged the club to sign Neves

    Speaking about the 19-year-old in a press conference at the beginning of June, City’s Bernardo Silva made it clear that he wants his international teammate to join him at the Etihad:

    “I would say to him: ‘Go to City right now!’ It’s not easy, he’s a player that many clubs want because of the success he had last season. I don’t have any inside information, but I think so, from what I hear…”

    “As a Portuguese and because he is someone I appreciate a lot, I would like to have him by my side [at City]. But I want him to take the best path, be it stay at Benfica or leave.”

    It won’t be an easy deal to negotiate, though. Benfica are adamant that they won’t let Neves leave for below his €120m (£101.5m) release clause.

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