• Premier League

City target Benat set for summer move

ESPN staff
April 8, 2013
Benat Extebarria is keen to improve his international prospects © Getty Images

Real Betis midfielder Benat Etxebarria is set to leave the club in the summer to further his international ambitions according to his agent, with Manchester City and Chelsea among the clubs set to battle it out for the Spaniard's signature.

The agent of the much sought-after playmaker has suggested his client will leave the club this summer to further his international hopes.

Benat, whose current contract ends in June 2014, made his senior international debut last summer, but has recently slipped out of Vicente Del Bosque's plans.

The 26-year-old, valued at around €15 million, has spent his entire senior career at the Estadio Benito Villamarin and has impressed in the verdiblancos' push for European qualification this season. He said in February that ideally he would sign a new contract to stay, but his representative Jose Vicente Biurrun has now told Tuttomercatoweb that the player wants to showcase his talents at a bigger club ahead of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

"We are not talking about a new contract with Betis," Biurrun said. "Benat's future is, probably, far away from Seville. We are not going to wait until his contract runs out, but we will look for a club at the very top level where Benat can play regularly and show what he can do before the World Cup. Making the World Cup squad is a dream. That is why we are looking for a big team."

Speculation in the Spanish media in recent months has linked Benat to clubs including Athletic Bilbao, Chelsea, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, while Biurrun has now suggested Serie A as another potential option.

"Juventus, Milan and Inter are good destinations," he said. "Although at this moment there is no contact, they are very strong clubs and we are open to considering any offer."

Benat was suspended for Betis' 5-1 win at Granada last Friday, but is expected to return to the starting line-up for this Friday's eagerly awaited home derby against Sevilla.

Pepe Mel's team sit seventh in the Primera Division table, four points from the final Champions League qualification place currently held by Real Sociedad, but well placed to secure Europa League football for next season.

Benat has four full Spain caps to his name, the last coming in a 5-1 international friendly win over Panama in November.

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