Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Real Madrid pull plug on move for top Man City starlet after Vinicius Junior destroys Girona loanee

Yan Couto, Vinicius Junior Real Madrid v Girona

Yan Couto had a torrid time against Vinicius Junior on Saturday night

Real Madrid have reportedly decided against making a summer move for Manchester City right-back Yan Couto for one very good reason.

The highly-rated 21-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance for Pep Guardiola’s men since joining the club in 2020, and has instead gained first-team experience out on loan with Portuguese side Braga and LaLiga outfit Girona.

Couto spent a year with Girona and then 12 months with Braga before re-joining the former again for the current campaign.

The Brazil international, who has won two caps for his country, has played in 23 of Girona’s 24 LaLiga outings so far this season, scoring once and providing six assists.

Indeed, he has played a pivotal role for a side that has challenged Real for the title for much of the season so far.

However, things did not go well for Couto on Saturday evening as Real crushed their nearest title challengers 4-0 at The Bernabeu.

That victory moved Carlo Ancelotti’s men five points clear at the summit, with Couto run completely ragged by Vinicius Junior. Indeed, he appeared to be visibly upset after the full-time whistle.

Real have been keeping a close eye on Couto’s performances at Girona this season, with certain media outlets suggesting they are looking at signing the City youngster as a relatively cheap option to strengthen their defence for next season.

However, Bernabeu Digital now reports that the full-back’s woeful display in Madrid ‘raised some doubts’ internally about whether he would be a suitable summer at all.

Couto is due to return to The Etihad when his second loan spell at Girona expires at the end of the season, but his long-term future in manchester remains unclear.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo towards the end of 2023 the full-back revealed his desire to play at the top level, although he was convinced that would be under Guardiola.

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Couto said: “Obviously I have hopes and I think about my future. I want to be at the highest level and I am very happy to be at Girona.

“But I also want to play in the Champions League, I don’t know if here or at Manchester City, although I love Spain. I see myself playing more in La Liga, but we have to see what options we can consider for next [season].”

Asked if he could stay at Girona beyond this season, Couto added: “We have to talk about it, why not be here another year? I think it is also a City Group plan and will be discussed at the time, although we will leave it until the end of the season.”

Couto is currently under contract with City until June 2025 and looks set to head back to Manchester this summer with another current Girona loanee Savio, who has agreed to join Guradiola’s men on a permanent deal from sister club Troyes.