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Manchester City defender attracting Premier League interest during loan spell – report

Manchester City-owned defender Pablo Marí made a quick impression on loan at NAC Breda in the Netherlands when he was appointed captain of the team shortly after his move.

24-year-old Pablo Marí was signed by City from Gimnàstic de Tarragona in August 2016 for a modest fee. The club had no immediate plans to use him in their own first-team and the idea was to farm him out to Girona FC to aid their promotion push to La Liga.

Unfortunately for Marí, unlike the similarly named Pablo Maffeo, he struggled to make an impact at the Segunda División club, making only 8 appearances in the 2016-17 season, with one more in the Copa del Rey.

He was then dispatched to NAC Breda, where he has become a key player for the Dutch side – and his performances have not gone unnoticed.

Despite a recently ankle injury, the tall centre-back has been impressing scouts from the Premier League and Championship, the Daily Mail reports. His leadership skills and composure on the ball have particularly stood out and he could soon be the latest City investment the club profit on. He is said to have an undisclosed, but affordable release clause that could be triggered in January.

Other examples of City’s shrewdness in the market include Florian Lejuene, signed for £215,000 in 2015 and sold to Eibar a year later for £1.24million. Eibar themselves then profited on the French defender by selling him to Newcastle last summer.

The biggest profit of this type City have made was on Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy, recruited from sister club Melbourne City at no cost in 2016, loaned to Huddersfield, then sold to the same club for a club record fee of £8million.

Could Marí be the next to benefit from the City Football Group recruitment policy by winning himself a big move? If he keeps up his impressive performances for NAC Breda, he may well be.

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