Manchester City are preparing a mammoth £26.6m contract for Benfica wonderkid Joao Felix, in an effort to persuade the youngster to choose the blue half of Manchester. 

Felix, who notched a sensational 20 goals and 11 assists in his breakthrough season with the Portuguese giants, has been heavily coveted by the great and good across Europe, but it is City and Manchester United who have emerged as the frontrunners as it stands.


And, according to reports in Portuguese publication Record, the Citizens have stepped up their efforts in recent time, laying a £26.6m (€30m) at the feet of the 19-year-old forward.

It is understood that this would be paid out across a five-year deal, meaning he would be earning around £5.32m per year with the Premier League champions. 

The release clause in Felix's current Benfica deal is €120m (£105m) and while neither team have been willing to meet that price yet, the club's president is already resigned to the prospect of the precocious youngster departing this summer.

Indeed, he believes the only way the club will be able to keep him at the Estadio da Luz beyond this summer is if they sell him with a view to an immediate loan back to the Liga NOS champions. 

Speaking to said publication, he explained: "We sit down with players and they say 'president, I can earn €5m, president, do not make me stay here'.

"Joao Felix had a release clause of €60m and we realised after two or three games that we must increase it to €120m. But it is Joao Felix and his family who will decide if he stays.

"If someone bids €120m it is not worth dreaming that he will stay. We are trying everything to ensure he stays. But the only way is if we sell him and keep him another year."

This is because Felix, who took part in his country's UEFA Nations League semi-final victory over Switzerland but was consigned to the bench for Sunday's victory over the Netherlands in the final, has been irrevocably enticed by the salary he would command in England.

"If not, Joao leaves. There is no room to negotiate further. He doesn't want to. How will Benfica negotiate with someone after he is given a proposal of €6m after tax?"