Manchester City have reportedly hijacked Barcelona’s pursuit of Yan Couto and secured a €15 million deal to sign the Coritiba defender.

According to Yahoo Sports, Barcelona have been left reeling in the transfer pursuit of Yan Couto. The Coritiba defender was a rumoured target for the Spanish giants. But, the report states that Manchester City have swooped in late and agreed a deal with Coritiba to sign the Brazilian youngster.

Yan Couto’s Coritiba contract was set to expire at the end of the season and Barcelona were believed to be leading the race with their offer of upto €10 million. But, Manchester City seem to have improved on Barcelona’s offer, with a €15 million deal agreed, with €9 million upfront and the rest to be paid depending on performances, appearances and other criteria.

The report states that Couto will travel to England to finalise the details and confirm the deal, but will have to return to Brazil and play at Coritiba for a few months before he turns 18 in June, when he will officially move to Manchester and link up with his new teammates.

17-year-old Couto was part of the triumphant Brazilian squad at the Under-17 World Cup in 2019 and has garnered attention from Europe despite never making it to the senior level at Coritiba. Right-back by trade, Couto was on the radar of Barcelona for a fair while.

Barcelona have always delved into the Latin American market to acquire prodigies and talented footballers at a young age. Among defenders, Uruguayan youngster Ronald Araujo arrived at the club in 2018 and is currently a regular for the Barcelona B side. The Catalans had also signed Emerson before selling him on to Real Betis.

Manchester City have, in the recent times, established themselves as a premier youth institution, with the aim being to develop the best of talents under their banner. The latest acquisition was in the form of 14-year-old Kane Taylor, who joined the club’s youth ranks from Aston Villa.

Barcelona will rue the opportunity that has passed them by, with highly-rated Couto now set to be announced to have agreed a deal with Manchester City. Whatever the future might hold for the 17-year-old, the Brazilian will find a nice comfy place in the Coritiba history books, thanks to the transfer fee associated with the purported move.

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