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Manchester City interested in Bilal El Khannouss

Manchester City are reportedly interested in signing Genk wonderkid Bilal El Khannouss and the 18-year-old could be a superb long-term addition to Pep Guardiola‘s squad.

According to reports from Belgium, Manchester City and Napoli are the current frontrunners to sign Genk’s golden boy, with the Pro League side set to demand around £28m for his services this winter as they aim to make the teenager their record sale.

The report claims that he has allegedly been watched by scouts of several top European clubs recently but will demand a sizeable fee after recently committing to a new three-and-a-half-year deal with the Belgian side.

El Khannouss has already established himself as a regular in the number 10 position for Genk, featuring 20 times for the senior side, in which he has contributed two assists, while he has already earned a first senior cap for the Moroccan national side, starting in the defeat against Croatia at the World Cup.

The next De Bruyne?

The club’s technical director Dimitri De Condé was full of praise for El Khannouss’ ability and potential in 2022, saying:

“Bilal is a pleasure to watch and during my eight years at the club, I have rarely seen such a talent at KRC Genk.”

This is particularly impressive when you consider that the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois and Leandro Trossard have all come through Genk’s academy and gone on to big things.

Bearing that in mind, however, there is every possibility that the Moroccan youngster could be Guardiola’s next De Bruyne.

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Having both learned their footballing trade in a similar circle, he is cut from a similar cloth as the Belgian superstar, honing his skills as an attacking midfielder.

Like the City playmaker, the teenage midfielder is a creative and offensive ace capable of changing matches with his wide array of skills.

Indeed, he has been trusted as a regular starter in Genk’s title challenge so far this campaign and is certainly justifying his selection, with WhoScored awarding him a solid 6.68 rating for his performances.

He clearly isn’t afraid to get on the ball and showcase his talent in De Bruyne-eseque fashion, as he has averaged 1.4 shots, 1.1 key passes and 0.9 key passes per game for Genk this season, which ranks him in the top 10 players in Genk’s squad for all of those statistics.

The Morocco international looks to have a huge amount of potential and the fact that he is already playing a big part in Genk’s side at the top of the Pro League suggests that he definitely has what it takes to be a hit under Guardiola in the future, so Txiki Begiristain should definitely try and sign him this month.