Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Nunes, right, duels for the ball with...

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Nunes, right, duels for the ball with Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, England, Monday, Aug. 14, 2023. Credit: AP/Rui Vieira

MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City completed the signing of midfielder Matheus Nunes on Friday after agreeing to pay Wolverhampton a reported transfer fee of 53 million pounds ($67 million).

The Brazil-born Portugal international had been refusing to train with Wolves in an effort to force a move to City, which had a lower bid rejected last week. He signed a five-year contract, City said.

City manager Pep Guardiola was looking for help in the midfield. The injured Kevin De Bruyne could be out until the new year.

City also lost Ilkay Gundogan, who joined Barcelona after his contract expired, and signed central midfielder Mateo Kovacic as a replacement. However, that’s not a like-for-like replacement, with Kovacic operating in deeper areas than Gundogan, who often played as an attacking midfielder just off Erling Haaland.

The 25-year-old Nunes typically plays further forward than Kovacic so would offer something different to the Premier League and European champions.

“The opportunity to work under Pep Guardiola, one of the greatest managers ever, and alongside some of the best players in the world was something I couldn't turn down,” Nunes said.

Just over a year ago, Wolverhampton broke the club's transfer record by signing Nunes from Sporting Lisbon for an initial 45 million euros ($49 million).

Nunes is the fourth signing for City, following Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol and winger Jeremy Doku.

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