Manchester City have identified a surprise new name as the man they want to replace Vincent Kompany at the heart of their defence, TEAMtalk can reveal.
The Premier League champions are leading the chase for young Brazilian defender Murilo, who is currently starring at the Toulon tournament in France.
The Cruzeiro stopper, 22, has been playing first-team football since 2017 and City’s scouts believe he could go straight into their first-team squad.
Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Monaco are amongst the clubs also impressed by the youngster – but it is City who are believed to be at the front of the queue.
Pep Guardiola is in the market for new central defenders this summer, with Kompany having quit after 11 glorious seasons to take a player/coach role at his first club Anderlecht. There are also long-term doubts over the futures of Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaqium Mangala, who could both leave this summer for the right price.
And it seems that the Brazilian – whose full name is Murilo Cerqueira – could be the first new arrival this summer and the man the club want to put pressure on Aymeric Laporte and John Stones going into the new season.
The towering centre-back has 41 senior appearances to his name, having established himself as one of the finest prospects in the Brazilian top flight.
Murilo is reportedly valued at around £10m – £15m by Cruzeiro, but that fee is not likely to prove prohibitive to City as they look to bring in new recruits ahead of another push for glory next season.
The Blues are also keen on Leicester defender Harry Maguire, but the Foxes are demanding a world-record fee of £85m for the England man – and despite their deep pockets, the Cityzens are unwilling to go that high.
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