Will Santa Cruz deal give Manchester City advantage on Benat?

Switzerland V Spain

The Real Betis star scored the only goal in his side's win over Real Madrid at last weekend and is said to be interesting a host of English sides, with a tempting release clause available in his current deal.

Spanish midfielders are in high demand right now, with plenty of Premiership sides keen to try and emulate the technical passing game that has been so successful for Barcelona and Spain in recent years.

Unfortunately, most of the players who fit the bill are quickly snapped up by either Barcelona or Real Madrid, so when someone like Benat Extebarria is perceived to be available, it's not surprising when plenty of teams show interest.

The midfield player recently broke into the Spain national side, picking up four caps since his debut in May. Playing as one of the pivots in the centre of midfield, Benat is a typically classy Spanish player on the ball, and also has an eye for the occasional goal, as he proved by scoring the winner against Real Madrid at the weekend.

Betis have been unable to tie Benat up on a long term deal, with his current contract expiring in 2014. What's more interesting to the Premiership sides interested in him, Benat currently has a release clause of just over £16 million in his contract.

Whilst that isn't a bargain basement price by any stretch of the imagination, it could be a worthy investment, with the midfielder still only 25.

Liverpool and Arsenal have reportedly held an interest in the player for some time, with Manchester City also now keen to enter the chase following the appointment of Txiki Begiristain.

City have dealt with Betis recently, sending Roque Santa Cruz there on loan last season in a favourable deal for the Spanish side that saw City pick up most of the wages. If it did come to a dogfight for the player, you would also imagine City would also be able to outbid Arsenal and Liverpool in terms of wages.

Whoever does bid for the player, the Premier League would be a richer place for Benat's presence.

Although with the pulling power of Real Madrid and Barcelona, if he does continue to develop as a star for club and country, you wouldn’t bet against seeing him end up at one of those two at some stage.

Would Benat blossom at City or would the move be too son for him?

image: © jitbag

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