Man City beat Barcelona to signing of £12.5m Brazilian wonderkid

Yan Couto TEAMtalk

Manchester City have reportedly won the race for Brazilian youngster Yan Couto, and are expected to sign him in the coming hours after he flew in for a medical.

Barcelona were thought to be at the front of the queue for the 17-year-old defender but have withdrawn their interest on the understanding he will join City, according to Sport.

City are reported to have agreed a deal worth £12.5m (€15m), with £7.5m of that up front and the rest in bonuses and variable add ons.

The Under-17 ace has been labelled the ‘new Dani Alves’ and is set to stay with Brazilian side Coritiba until the summer when he turns 18 in June.

City have yet to make a first-team signing this month, with Aymeric Laporte’s return from injury negating the need to bring in a new centre-back.

Couto is believed to be heading for Manchester to wrap up the deal on Friday, with Txiki Begiristain leading the negotiations and City also offering a bigger package than Barcelona or German side Bayer Leverkusen were ready to.

Couto was one of the stars at the Under-17 World Cup last year, which Brazil won in the final against Mexico.

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp declared Liverpool “have a proper history” after refusing to set a plastic points total for his all-conquering team.

The Premier League champions elect increased their lead at the top of the table to 19 points with a 2-0 victory over West Ham on Wednesday night with Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on target.

 

At the same time nearest rivals Man City were working their way to the Carabao Cup final and after the games both managers appeared to have a pop at each other.

Pep Guardiola was keen to point out he had played a strong side all the way through the League Cup and claimed: “You don’t try to diss the humble competition of the season.”

That appeared to be aimed at Klopp, who put out a team full of youngsters against Villa in the Carabao Cup earlier this season, before playing a weakened side against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup.

Whether or not Guardiola’s comments had registered with Klopp last night before he spoke is unclear, but the German appeared to have a go back at Guardiola and Man City. Read more…