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Monaco's Fabinho 'has a soft spot for Manchester City' - father

Barcelona were among the clubs that tried to sign Fabinho last summer, according to the player's father, but the Monaco full-back "have a soft spot for Manchester City."

Fabinho, 23, joined the Ligue 1 club in 2013, initially on loan, from Real Madrid and has since become one of the most coveted right-backs in Europe.

As well as Barca, a number of Premier League sides have also been credited with an interest in the Brazilian and Joao confirmed that there were talks with a number of clubs.

"We have talked to Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal ... We have even been approached by Barcelona, but it didn't go any further." he told Telefoot.

Mundo Deportivo reports that Barca have monitored Fabinho for a number of seasons and the club's search for a new right-back may accelerate following Aleix Vidal's season-ending injury.

Fabinho has helped Monaco to the top of Ligue 1 and into the Champions League knockout stages.

However, Joao adds that a move to England is much more likely than a return to Spain, where Fabinho spent a year with Madrid's B team.

It was United coach Jose Mourinho that initially brought him to Europe, but while the player respects the former Real Madrid boss, it's another English club his father suggests he's keen on joining.

"We like Manchester United and the work of Mourinho, but we have a little soft spot for City," he added.

Fabinho's performances in Leonardo Jardim's side have seen him rewarded with a call up for Brazil.

Speaking last November he noted that Monaco have been vital to his development, but admitted that he thought he would leave the club last summer.

"Monaco have been very important for me," he said. "It's the club that has helped me into the Selecao.

"I extended my contract after the last transfer window. My name was linked to big clubs, notably in England.

"I wanted to leave Monaco [last summer]. That was my intention, I thought it was the right moment. But as I didn't get any concrete offer, I decided the best solution was to stay here to play in the Champions League and try to win something with this team."

ESPN FC's France correspondent Ian Holyman contributed to this report

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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