Jesus Navas hints at £20m switch to Manchester City as Real Madrid bid to keep Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid are expected to step up their transfer activity this week

Click to follow
The Independent Football

The Sevilla winger, Jesus Navas, has moved closer to joining Manuel Pellegrini in the Premier League after responding to questions about his future by saying: "Manchester City is a team I like very much".

Whatever challenges lie in wait for Pellegrini it seems persuading La Liga transfer targets to join him at the Etihad will not be one of them. After Malaga midfielder Isco declared his preference for following his "football father" to Manchester last week, Navas did much the same after Sevilla's last game of the season.

The 27-year-old is the subject of a bid from City, understood to be in the region of £20m, delivered by the club's director of football Txiki Begiristain when he met with the Sevilla president, Jose Maria del Nido, last week.

It seems certain that Navas, who has been at the club since he was 15, is ready to move although City could yet receive competition from Real Madrid who are expected to step up their transfer activity this week after confirmation that President Florentino Perez will stay for another four years.

Perez's priority is to clarify the long-term plans of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has two years left on his contract.

The Real Madrid president met Ronaldo's agent Jorge Mendes last week and offered a two-year extension on the current deal that runs until 2016.

The new contract would mean Ronaldo takes home €16m (£13.7m) net annually and cost Real Madrid a further €8m (£6.8m) in tax annually over the next four years. The decision will have a direct bearing on how far Real Madrid push Tottenham for Gareth Bale.

One player who will not be at Real Madrid next season is Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain, who scored in the weekend win but said the game his last for the club. "It's a decision I have taken calmly over time. I have been here seven years, every pre-season they try to sell me and I need to go somewhere where I am truly wanted," said Higuain, who has scored 121 goals in 264 appearances after signing from River Plate in 2006.

If Real Madrid's £20m asking price for Higuain is matched it will strengthen their quest to sign a new striker, with Manchester City target Edinson Cavani their first choice before his Uruguay team-mate, the unsettled Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. Juventus are favourites to sign Higuain but he said no deal has been agreed.