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Manchester City send scouts to SC Braga vs. Rio Ave to watch Gündoğan-like midfielder

Manchester City were the most notable of fifteen foreign clubs with a scouting presence at last night’s Portuguese league game between SC Braga and Rio Ave, which finished in a 2-1 win for the host.

Others in attendance included Swansea City, Real Sociedad, Monaco, Bordeaux, Sampdoria, Wolfsburg and Ajax. Andrzej Juskowiak, the sporting director of Polish side (and a club familiar to all City fans) Lech Poznań, was also in attendance.

But it is the presence of Man City representatives, who are very active in the Iberian Peninsula, that is the most interesting, with City talent-spotters based all over the world – not always eyeing talent for the Premier League club, but often City Football Group partners such as Girona FC, NAC Breda and New York City FC.

After some investigation and inquiries, City Watch has learned that the most likely player being scouted by the Blues was Francisco Geraldes, a 22-year-old midfielder on loan at Rio Ave from Sporting CP.

The former Portugal under-21 international was described to us as a “magician with the ball”, a central midfielder with a style very similar to that of İlkay Gündoğan. The young box-to-box midfielder played the second half of the game, completing 85.7% of his passes.

City’s scouts may have also been impressed by Fábio Martins, who scored this fantastic solo goal to win the game for Braga, with another potential target, Brazil under-23 international defensive midfielder Danilo Barbosa, getting an assist for the golazo.

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