Carvalho, Martins In Manchester City Sights
Manchester City are preparing a double bid for the Sporting Lisbon duo of William Carvalho and Gelson Martins.
According to Record newspaper in Lisbon, talks are at an advanced stage over a move by City for both players in a deal that could cost City as much as €70million (£60million).
Midfielder Carvalho is being seen as the natural successor to Yaya Toure who looks set to quit Manchester City when his contract expires at the end of the season. The fact that Carvalho is now represented by Pep Guardiola’s brother Pere is being seen as an additional reason why Carvalho could be on his way to the Etihad.
Carvalho has been linked with City in the past. He was reportedly close to a move to Arsenal in 2014 and has also been the subject of past interest from Manchester United.
Martins has also been linked with United this season.
In November 2016, the 22-year-old rejected the offer of a new deal with Sporting worth £7500 a week. He had been earning around £2000 a week – less than some Premier League academy players. But in February he put pen to paper on a new deal that could keep him at the Lisbon club until 2022.
The Portugal international broke into Sporting’s first team last season playing in 29 games. However, only 10 of those were as a starter. He has made the starting line-up on 31 occasions this season and scored six goals against four in 2015-16.
But City may find Sporting trying to drive a hard bargain. Carvalho has a release clause of €45million (£36million). Martins’ new deal saw his fee rise to €60million (£51.5million)
Record claims Sporting may be willing to take a discount on the pair. However, that would still involve a transfer fee of some €90million (£72million).