Pep Guardiola eyeing £145 million Neymar as first signing at Manchester City

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Pep Guardiola has earmarked Barcelona's Neymar as his first big-name signing when he takes over at Manchester City this summer, according to the Daily Mail.

The Brazilian has been linked with a host of Europe's elite in recent times, more specifically Manchester United and Real Madrid, after a £145 million release clause in his contract was revealed.

It would seem City have the upper hand with regards to securing a deal, however, given their vast financial backing and the fact Neymar recently admitted his desire to work with the Bayern Munich manager.


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The 24-year-old, who arrived the summer after Guardiola departed the Camp Nou, said: "Yes, there is one: Guardiola is a guy who I really admire and who I would love to work with."

As a result, if Neymar were to ever opt for a move away from Barcelona, a move to City appears the most viable option.

Neymar's potential arrival would see him become the first £100 million footballer, with the current transfer record held by Gareth Bale following his big-money move to Real Madrid in 2013.

What's more is Barcelona might struggle to stave off interest given their continued financial issues. 

The Independent reports that the La Liga champions are due to add £19 million to their wage bill next season following pay rises to Neymar and Lionel Messi - the latter's wages due to jump from £17.34 million to £29.97 million-per-year - which will fall foul of Financial Fair Play and La Liga regulations.

Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets are also on mega money and due to receive pay rises, adding to Barcelona's financial predicament.

Whether the above will pay dividends with regards to a potential move for Neymar remains to be seen, but amidst Barcelona's money struggles and the 24-year-old's ongoing tax allegations, it appears now would be the Citizens' best chance of luring one of the world's finest.

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