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Manchester City believe they hold the edge in the race for Benfica sensation Darwin Nunez.
Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich are all interested in the Uruguayan hitman, 22, along with Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions.
But City are convinced they will have first shout at signing Nunez – thanks to their superb relationship with Benfica in the transfer market.
In the last four years, they have concluded deals with the Portuguese club for £36million Brazilian keeper Ederson and £62m central defender Ruben Dias.
And they have already alerted Benfica that they are keen on Nunez, who has cracked six goals in seven games this season.
The South American forward has a buy-out clause of £125million but City are optimistic that, if and when they Benfica are ready do business, they could land him for nearer £70m.
That spells bad news for their rivals, who all had scouts watching Nunez is midweek as he scored twice in Benfica’s 3-0 Champions League thumping of Barcelona.
Nunez had been linked with a transfer during the summer, when Benfica boss Jorge Jesus said: "All this decision-making ability, finishing and speed.
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"He was Benfica's most expensive purchase, and when there is no pandemic, he will be the most expensive sale. He will be a world-class player.
“We must not forget that he is a kid, he is 21 years old, there is a lot about the game that he does not know yet. He will learn with me and Benfica.
"Unfortunately for me, maybe I will lose him in a short time."
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