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Manchester City to swoop for Barcelona youth star?

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17 year old Jean Marie Dongou has been labelled as the new Samuel Eto'o throughout his short career, and with Txiki Begiristain an admirer of his abilities, will City look to prise him from Barcelona?

There has been plenty of speculation over what the arrival of Txiki Begiristain might mean for Roberto Mancini's future at the Etihad, as the former Barcelona director was one of the men to bring in Pep Guardiola at the Camp Nou.

However his links with Barcelona might be put to a different use in the near future, as Goal.com have reported City are looking to raid his former club's youth system for Jean Marie Dongou.

The Cameroonian youngster has an impressive reputation at Barcelona for one so young. He has pace and power in abundance, and an eye for goal frequently likened to that of his compatriot Samuel Eto'o. Indeed it was Eto'o who helped Dongou make his way Barcelona when he was just 13. With the clubs brilliant record for turning youth players into global stars, he has had the best possible football upbringing so far.

Manchester City will look to capitalise on the fact that Dongou's contract will expire next year, offering him a substantial wage to try and lure him to England. Of course Barcelona are hardly short of finances themselves, and value Dongou as an outstanding prospect, so it may take a sizeable offer to sign the youngster.

The appointment of Txiki Begiristain may be a signal that City will be attempting more of these kind of swoops in the future. Signing youth players like Dongou will make them more able to comply with the financial fair play regulations than the huge outlays for players like Sergio Aguero. Begiristain should also be able to help them build up their own youth development.

The Premier League has a growing history for raiding Barcelona's impressive youth system, though two of the best players taken from there, Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas, have ended up returning to the Camp Nou. Dongou would join the likes of Oriol Romeu at Chelsea and Christian Ceballos at Spurs as Premier League players from La Masia.

Dongou is a rarer creature than those in that he is an out and out centre forward, something that the Barcelona system does not produce so often. With that in mind, Barcelona will surely be very keen to keep hold of Dongou, but whether they would compete if Manchester City were to make a huge contract offer is yet to be seen.

image: © Manchester City FC

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