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Manchester City 'leading the race' for Villarreal winger Alex Baena and more transfer rumours

Manchester City are leading the race to sign 21-year-old Spanish winger Alex Baena from Villarreal next year, according to reports.

As per Fichajes, City and Premier League rivals Liverpool are the two most interested clubs in Baena, who spent last season on loan at Spanish side Girona, where he scored five goals in 38 games.

The Spaniard returned to Villarreal in the summer and has become a regular under manager Unai Emery - registering six goals and two assists in 10 appearances so far this campaign.

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City are keen to tempt Baena to a move by offering him the opportunity to compete in the Champions League, with Villarreal playing in the Europa Conference League this term.

Elsewhere, El Chiringuito (relayed by 90min ) are reporting that City transfer target Jude Bellingham would prefer to join Real Madrid if he chooses to leave Borussia Dortmund next summer.

The England international has been linked with a move to the likes of Premier League sides City and Liverpool in recent months, with Manchester United also interested in the midfielder.

Bellingham, who has made 15 appearances for his country, has two years left on his deal with the Bundesliga giants, and Dortmund are determined to keep him. He has has made 100 appearances for the German club, registering 13 goals and 18 assists since his arrival from Birmingham City.

It follows previous reports that the Bundesliga outfit will set an asking price of £131m for the talented youngster.