The highly-rated young player is set to make six-month switch to Serie A after struggling to break into Pep Guardiola’s first-team plans
Manchester City academy star Jayden Braaf is set to join Udinese on loan for the rest of the season, Goal can confirm.
The club were open to a loan switch for the highly-rated winger, who has also been watched by a number of German clubs including RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund.
Braaf joined City from PSV Eindhoven in 2018 and quickly established himself as one of the top prospects in the club’s academy. He has drawn comparisons with England international Jadon Sancho, who also came through City’s system as a youngster before establishing himself in the Bundesliga with Dortmund.
The 18-year-old Dutchman has trained with the first-team squad but has not made an appearance for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Guardiola urged patience over Braaf’s development when asked about the possibility of him making his debut this season.
“He’s a young player and I think everyone has to be patient with him,” the City boss said at the beginning of the season. “He has incredible skills but at the same time there are another six or seven players playing there, so we’ll have to see how his evolution is.”
After missing the start of the campaign through injury, Braaf was part of the U18s side that won the FA Youth Cup for the first time in 12 years. From that team, Cole Palmer, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Tommy Doyle and Liam Delap have all featured for Guardiola’s side this season.
Braaf, however, is keen to prove himself and with a step-up to the first team not seen as likely any time soon, a loan switch suits the player and both clubs.
The Netherlands U18 international is believed to be valued at around £8 million (€9m/$11m) and for any permanent deal, and City are likely to want a sell-on clause.
Braaf, who attracted interested from Chelsea before joining City, has a contract with the club until 2023.
Meanwhile, City are not expecting to make any high-profile signings before the transfer window closes on Monday. However, the immediate future of another academy graduate, Eric Garcia, remains uncertain with the Spain international in the final six months of his contract and Barcelona struggling to complete a deal in January.