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Man City installed as favourites after setting aside €60m for defender deal

Manchester City have set aside €60m in funds for Sporting CP left-back Nuno Mendes this summer, according to reports in Portugal.

City are looking to strengthen on the left-hand side of their defence this summer. Benjamin Mendy has struggled to make progress due to injuries, forcing them to rely on Oleksandr Zinchenko playing out of position. Now, they are trying to find a specialist signing for the role.

Mendes is one of the hottest prospects on the market, having enjoyed a rapid rise since stepping into senior football last summer. He has already established himself as first choice at Sporting despite only being 18 years old.

The Portuguese club, who won their league title in 2020-21, have Mendes under contract until 2025. There is a €70m release clause in that contract, and they will have to fend off a lot of interest in their top talent.

Mendes has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, where Chelsea or Manchester United could try to sign him.

But Manchester City are also in the race and it now seems they are the most likely to make a bid.

According to A Bola, City are willing to spend up to €60m on Mendes and they may have the advantage in the race for his signature.

That’s because City and Sporting have already established contacts from previous transfer dealings. Mendes could be the next player to switch between them.

There is also competition from Spain and Italy, though, so City will have to beat off several rivals if they are to make a move.

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Mendes comments on future

City will not be able to complete a deal until after Euro 2020, where Mendes will be representing Portugal.

While preparing for the tournament, the teenager recently commented on his future at club level.

“I’m only focused on Sporting,” he told RTP3. “These things I leave with my agent.

“For me it is indifferent: I am a Sporting player and it is Sporting that I have to focus on, not on the other clubs because that is not important.

“It doesn’t matter to me; I talk to my agent, it’s normal but he’s the one who takes care of that.

“There are things that are true and false [about interest from European clubs]. Now I’m focused on Sporting and now on the European Championship.”

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