With the transfer window just 11 days away from swinging open again, much of the speculation predictably revolves around ‘money bags’ Manchester City.
With boss Roberto Mancini poised to overhaul the squad that failed to secure Champions League football at Eastlands for next season, and flexing more than ample financial clout to do it, the Mancunians have already been linked with just about anybody across the globe who happens to be worth a few bob. T
he last few days have been no exception with talk of a big-money bid for highly-rated Benfica defender David Luiz.
Unsurprisingly, the new Portuguese Champions have said that they will fight hard to keep the hugely promising Brazilian for one more year – or in layman’s terms that they will damn well make sure that City will have to pay through their noses to get their man. The price tag that City’s wealthy owners will have to cough up stands at an eye watering £43m – the value of Luiz’s release clause from his four year contract.
Mancini’s keen interest is understandable given the general consensus that Luiz is the best defender Portuguese football has witnessed in two decades. The continental media are stunned by Dunga’s unwillingness to select Luiz for his native Brazil and credit him with playing an integral part in bringing the Liga Sagres title to the Estadio da Luz.
Although both Luiz’s pedigree and City’s ability to pay such large sums of money are undisputable, there are several factors which make this transfer unlikely. He will take a lot of persuading to leave a club that he is deeply attached to – he is the one player who runs over to applaud Benfica’s supporters after every game – and to give up the prospect of Champions League football next season which is guaranteed for the reigning Portuguese champions. There is also the question of Real Madrid’s reported interest to take him to the Bernabeu this summer which will become more definite if Luiz-admirer Jose Mourinho takes over at the Spanish club given that they both share an agent.
Given the difficulties, and City’s urgent need for a player of Luiz’s ability and versatility after the poor seasons that Kolo Toure and Wayne Bridge have just had, this will make for a fascinating saga and one to keep your eye on over the coming months.
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