Premier League champions Manchester City are preparing for the serious possibility of losing one of their best young talents in the summer, as Brahim Diaz stalls over signing a new deal.
The Spanish youngster has had his head turned amid rumoured interest from Real Madrid, as reports suggest the La Liga giants are becoming increasingly confident they can sign the midfielder on a free when his contract expires in the summer.
The Manchester club have not given up all hope of persuading Diaz to extend his stay, but the 19-year-old has become frustrated by a lack of first team opportunities.
Another City youngster in Jadon Sancho left for Borussia Dortmund in the summer for similar reasons, and his impressive form for the German club resulted in a senior England call-up during the last international break.
Sancho’s remarkable form have even seen him sign a new improved contract, and he has also been linked with a £100m switch back to the Premier League, with Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs all keen.
Diaz – like many other youngsters not getting their chance at Premier League clubs – have noticed the success of the likes of Sancho when given a chance elsewhere.
The situation with Diaz is a strange one, as the Spaniard is represented by Pere Guadiola, the brother of City manager Pep Guardiola, whose Media Base Sports agency co-own Spanish club Girona with City.
Diaz’s only competitive start this season came in the Carabao Cup win over Oxford United, and he has conceded that he will not be able to dislodge the likes of Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane from the City team.