Palmeiras playmaker Raphael Veiga has revealed he still harbours a “desire to play in Europe”, with Manchester City among his preferred destinations.
The Brazilian is now 28 years of age, but he is coming off the back of a season where he scored 18 goals and provided 16 assists, prompting speculation about his future. Asked about a transfer in an interview with AS (translated by Sport Witness), Veiga said:
“I like a lot of teams in Europe. Barcelona, Madrid, City, Arsenal and others like Manchester United… It’s difficult to say just one. There are impressive teams and they all have something special and interesting.”
Veiga has actually mentioned his desire to play for City before, but you do feel that the time for a move to the Etihad has come and gone, mainly due to his age.
His CV is very impressive
Since joining Palmeiras in December 2018, Veiga has scored 83 goals and provided 34 assists in 257 appearances. He has won seven major trophies including 2 Brazilian Championships, 1 Brazilian Cup, 1 Brazilian Super Cup, 2 Copa Libertadores titles and 1 Copa Sudamericana.
Considering his goal threat and creativity, there are certainly comparisons to be drawn between him and Kevin De Bruyne.
City have a different replacement in mind for De Bruyne
Despite Veiga clearly being keen on a switch to City, the Premier League champions are likely to target a much younger player when they look to replace De Bruyne.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz is on the Cityzens’ radar. Journalist Christian Falk claims that manager Pep Guardiola is a “big fan” of the German and the Manchester club may make a concerted effort to sign him this summer.
Wirtz wouldn’t necessarily be a like-for-like replacement for De Bruyne; he prefers to play slightly further forward. However, there are thought to be enough similarities in his game that could lead him to become an equally influential figure.