Manchester City have agreed a deal to sign 18-year-old attacker Felix Correia from Sporting Lisbon for a reported up-front fee of €3.5million (£3.23m).
A brief statement on Sporting Lisbon’s official website read: “Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD informs that it has reached an agreement with Manchester City for the transfer of player Felix Correia.
“Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD wishes the player all the best personal and professional happiness.”
According to Goal.com, Correia will sign for Manchester City for an initial €3.5m (£3.23m) plus a potential €3.5m (£3.23m) more in bonuses.
Goal.com added that he will likely sign a five-year deal with the Premier League champions and then go on loan to either Girona or NAC Breda.
Correia was part of the Portugal team that reached the European Under-19 Championship final last month, scoring one goal and setting up another in the 3-0 group stage win over Italy and starting every game for his team in the tournament [via Goal.com].
However, he has left Sporting Lisbon without making a first team appearance for the club, as reported by Goal.com, so he remains untested at senior level.
A scout report on Soccersouls compared him with Nani and Ousmane Dembele for his ability to dribble at a high pace, as well as his trickery in beating opposition defenders and drawing fouls.
The same scout report noted that he often makes himself available for a pass but can be selfish on the ball and is not the most clinical.
However, Manchester City do not have a recent track record of giving young attacking players regular first team opportunities.
Marlos Moreno signed for Manchester City in 2016 but was immediately dispatched on loan to Deportivo La Coruna. He has had further loan spells in Spain, Brazil and Mexico and has now gone out again, this time to Portimonense. He is yet to make a first team appearance at the Etihad Stadium.
Correia’s performances at the European Under-19 Championship were those of a hugely exciting prospect but history suggests that he could find it very tough to make the breakthrough at Manchester City.
As the cases of Roberts and Moreno have shown, it can be exceedingly difficult for young players to break into the first team frame under Pep Guardiola, with the exception of Phil Foden, who has made 37 first team appearances.
Perhaps Correia will prove to be a far better footballer than the aforementioned names, but he will almost certainly need at least a couple of highly productive loan spells before harbouring realistic ambitions of a first team place at the Etihad.
Manchester City fans, can you see Correia developing into a regular first team presence? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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