The Sun says City failed to agree a price a year ago but now the auction has begun, ironically sparked by reports of United coming in for him.
The cost may be around £15million, plus extras.
City - who are set to hand Gabriel Jesus a new deal - would not go that far last summer but they will not want to lose him to their neighbours.
And top sources in South America reveal that Almada, 19, is keen on City and wants to go there this summer.
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