With few direct South American imports to the Premier League coming off in recent years, Manchester City haven’t been lured into paying over the odds for Colombian teen Marlos Moreno.
The Citizens have been linked with the 19-year-old for most of the summer and finally sealed a £4.75m deal, with the price dropping in recent weeks from a reported £15m to £8m, and now almost halved again.
If City were holding out for Moreno’s employer’s Atletico Nacional to see sense they were smart, as the £5m ballpark has tended to be the norm for a forward of this profile in recent seasons, notwithstanding the flush of money currently flooding the Premier League.
Chelsea shelled out as much to Sao Paulo for Brazilian Lucas Piazon five years ago, following up with another £11m combined on compatriots Nathan and Kenedy last summer. None of the trio look likely to be first-team regulars any time soon.
It’s hard to imagine where The Star got their £15m headline figure from, unless they included Moreno’s terms, or possibly took his fast-tracking into Colombia’s first team as a sign of great things to come.
Five goals in 27 senior club games shows promise, with a goal and an assist in seven appearances for his country since February well received, but that’s very little to go on.
City will know this more than most, having shelled out the colossal sum of £27m for Palmeiras’ Gabriel Jesus off the back of the forward’s stonking season so far in Brazil, with 19 goals bagged in 30 games.
Everyone wanted Jesus since his spectacular form in Palmeiras’ youth ranks saw him dubbed ‘the new Neymar’, and all eyes will be on the 19-year-old when he links up with City in January to compete with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane and Nolito for a place in Pep Guardiola’s side.
This gives a stark indication as to where Moreno is in the pecking order, where most would expect a £5m teenager to be.
Man City are 13/5 favourites to win the Premier League title.