Dan Burke

Man City working on secret deal for Napoli midfielder Allan

The cat is out of the bag

Manchester City are “working in great secrecy” to sign Napoli midfielder Allan, according to reports in Italy.

After missing out on Allan’s former Napoli team-mate Jorginho to Chelsea in the summer, City are still in the market for a long-term successor to Fernandinho.

Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong and Paris Saint-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot are two names who have been linked with moves to the Etihad Stadium in the recent past but with both players now expected to join Barcelona, the Premier League champions have been forced to look elsewhere.

And Italian outlet Il Mattino claims they are quietly working on a deal for Brazil international Allan, although any transfer is unlikely to happen until the summer at the earliest.

PSG are also understood to have expressed an interest in the 27-year-old, who Napoli reportedly value at a whopping €100m.

Allan has been capped twice by Brazil – both of which came in friendlies last November – and the former Vasco da Gama and Udinese star’s playing style is in a similar mould to Fernandinho’s.

He joined the Partonopei in 2015 and has since made 156 appearances, scoring eight goals.

City have also been linked with the likes of Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele, Rúben Neves of Wolves and most recently, West Ham’s Declan Rice.

But Blues boss Guardiola admitted on Friday that they are not expecting to sign any players in January.

“Sometimes we have done it but normally when you want to buy one player it is for the next five or six years and normally it doesn’t happen in this window,” he said.

“The big clubs don’t buy important players for just six months.

“If you don’t have injuries and are satisfied with the squad, you go with them.”