Guardiola makes title race admission ahead of Liverpool trip
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Manchester City are reportedly confident they can beat Premier League rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool to the signing of a £70million wonderkid. The reigning champions focused on buying star talent in the summer window, smashing the British transfer record to sign Jack Grealish for £100m.
But having allowed Sergio Aguero to depart on a free transfer, Pep Guardiola had also wanted to sign a new striker.
Harry Kane had been their top target, but they were unwilling to match Tottenham’s £150m valuation of the England captain.
That meant that Guardiola was forced to settle for the remaining options at the Etihad Stadium – Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus.
It has proved to be an acceptable compromise so far, with City having won four of their six top-flight matches so far.
But having been the Premier League’s highest scorers by some distance last season, City have five teams ahead of them in those standings this time around.
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That appears to have convinced club chiefs to again target a forward in the summer transfer window.
And at the top of their list is a highly-rated wonderkid who is also being chased by the likes of United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.
According to the Daily Star though, it is City who are leading the way in the race to sign Darwin Nunez.
Nunez has starred for Benfica this season, scoring an astonishing six goals in just seven games for the Portuguese giants.
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He missed their opening two Primeira Liga games having undergone knee surgery, but since then has been in inspired form.
His goals have sent Benfica to the top of the table and Nunez also scored twice in their stunning win over Barcelona in the Champions League.
By contrast, City’s top scorer this season, Riyad Mahrez, has scored four goals in the nine games he has played in all competitions.
Nunez has the ability to play either on the wing or through the middle, though all six of his goals have come from a central role.
And the Star report that City believe they hold the edge over their rivals thanks to their relationship with Benfica.
In the past four years, City have bought both Ederson and Ruben Dias from the Portuguese club and have already informed Benfica of their interest in Nunez.
Nunez is understood to have a £125m release clause in his contract, but City are said to be “optimistic” that they can bring that price tag down to £70m.
The news is major blow to their rivals for the forward’s signature, with all of them having sent scouts to watch his starring role in the win over Barca.
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