Manchester City aren’t a team to rest on their laurels and their recent activity in the transfer market suggests they’re hungry for more success next season.
After a lifetime’s worth of transfer rumours and plenty of twists and turns in the hunt for a long-term Fernandinho replacement, City finally concluded a £62.5m deal for Rodri last week, a transfer that provides Pep Guardiola with what had been regarded as a glaring missing link in an otherwise complete squad.
But the activity may not stop there. Angelino has already been re-signed from PSV Eindhoven and another exciting young player could also be on his way to Manchester.
According to the Manchester Evening News, City have fended off competition from Barcelona and Juventus to clinch the signing of Félix Correia from Sporting Lisbon and the 18-year-old is expected in Manchester imminently to complete the move.
But who is the coveted prodigy?
Here’s everything you need to know on City’s potential signing.
Felix Correia was born in Lisbon in 2001 and the 18-year-old has played most of his football for Sporting’s youth teams, most recently their under-19 side.
The right-sided attacking midfielder has also represented Portugal at youth level from the under-15s to under-19s, scoring six in 17 for the U17’s – including a goal on English soil during the Euro U17 Championships in 2017 – before notching five in five after graduating to the U18’s.
Correia is also capable of playing more centrally as an attacking midfielder, but it seems he is most comfortable out wide.
According to the Manchester Evening News, he has been likened in Lisbon to other great wingers that Sporting had produced such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Luis Figo.
Correia’s primary attribute is his speed and quick turn of pace. Accordingly, he often excels in one vs one situations where he’s able to utilise his trickery and pace to bypass opponents.
Like several modern-day wingers, Correia is able to cut inside but he’s equally confident when dribbling directly on the outside. Once again, his pace is his most valued asset in these situations, allowing him to evade defenders almost effortlessly at times.
He’s also an intelligent player who demonstrates good awareness in attacking situations, particularly when choosing the right ball and often his weight of pass is excellent.
Sporting supporters on Reddit have remarked on Correia’s natural talent, and one believed he was ready to be promoted to their first-team for the coming season. He was also tipped by a fan to become a regular for Portugal’s national team in the future, such is their faith in the young winger.
Accordingly, it seems that City have captured the signing of an enterprising and promising winger.
Correia scored seven goals in 20 appearances for Sporting’s under-19 last season. Additionally, he scored once and registered one assist in five appearances for the Portuguese under-19 side last term – which included an impressive volley in a 3-2 victory against England in the Toulon Tournament.
Despite his limited experience, he was regarded as one of Sporting’s brightest prospects, and it’s clear that the Citizens have acquired the young winger for his promise and potential.
As mentioned previously, the winger has induced comparisons to talented Sporting wingers of the past, and by joining Manchester City, he would be following the likes of Ronaldo and Nani who left Lisbon for the Premier League.
Both of those players enjoyed tremendous success on the red half of Manchester, and City supporters would be delighted if their new acquisition can replicate anything close to the success and the impact that Ronaldo has achieved in his career.
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As his credentials suggest, we’re unlikely to see Correia appear for City soon.
This transfer is indicative of Pep Guardiola’s readiness to prepare for the future, particularly as the winger is poised to put pen to paper on a five-year deal at the Etihad Stadium.
As per the Manchester Evening News, the Portuguese youngster is expected to leave City on loan for the entirety of the coming season to further his experience, and Girona and NAC Breda are both potential destinations for the winger.
For a player devoid of senior football, leaving on loan is a natural and logical step in his progression – a move that City’s hierarchy will hope can accelerate his development.