English Premier League club Manchester City have reportedly won a bidding war with La Liga's Barcelona for the services of 14-year-old prodigy Brahim Abdelkader Diaz.
According to a report by the Daily Mail's Simon Jones on Monday, the Malaga youth player eluded the grasp of one of his home country's most storied franchises in favor of City.
It is a heavy initial investment by the Citizens, who have given Brahim a fee of £300,000 up front as part of the incentives-based deal, which is worth up to £2.4 million.
Jones suggests that Brahim has the potential to develop into someone who could be worth approximately £30 to £40 million if he reaches his professional apex. Pere Guardiola, the agent for star Liverpool forward Luis Suarez, was involved in the negotiations for Brahim's deal.
Given his sensational skill set and playmaking ability, Brahim has been heralded as the next Lionel Messi. In an October report by Jones, it was noted that Barca had two unsuccessful bids for him in the past.
A £2.5 million offer from Barcelona was rejected by Malaga back in 2012, and even when Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta met and attempted to persuade Brahim to join their side, it was ultimately to no avail.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini and the organization had scouted Brahim for two years, and what Jones called a "cordial" relationship between City and Malaga was evidently enough to make Monday's deal a reality.
Pellegrini managed Malaga from 2010 to 2013 before being announced as Roberto Mancini's successor on June 14.
Barcelona had designs of bringing Brahim up to their first team by the age of 16. Thus, a similar timeline should be expected for when the Citizens are able to call on their highly coveted wunderkind to be a prominent contributor on the grand world football stage.
It will be a number of years before City sees a return on their prized commodity, but given the hype surrounding Brahim, the commitment and requisite patience should be well worth it.
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