Manchester City and Arsenal are hot on the heels of Uruguay defender Sebastian Coates following a number of sterling performances over the past two seasons.
Coates has been part of the defence that has seen Uruguay concede just two goals in their three Copa America games so far, and his performances have brought him to the attention of the Manchester City scouts.
A number of Premier League scouts have been sent to assess the 20-year-old and Arsenal have been keeping a close eye on Coates, but Nacional’s asking price has rocketed from £3.5m to £20m on the back of his Copa America performances.
£20m seems ambitious for a player who was linked with a £3.5m move to Porto only last month following the collapse of a proposed deal to Sao Paolo and even with the wealth Manchester City possess, they would be unwilling to risk £20m on the defender.
Standing at 6ft 6in tall it’s Coates’ elegance and speed rather than his sheer bulk that has earned the attention of the Premier League’s top clubs, and having won the Uruguayan title with his club Nacional last season he has forced his way into the international side after missing out on the World Cup.
Because of his lack of international appearances a work permit could be tricky to obtain for any European club, but his Spanish and English ancestry should make this a little easier.
Having splashed out £6m on Stefan Savic last week and £7m on Gael Clichy, another defender isn’t a priority on Mancini’s list but the Italian is looking to build a squad for the future and Coates fits into his plans.
Jerome Boateng’s impending exit means there is a space for the youngster at the club and under the right tutelage, Coates can prosper into a top quality defender.