Manchester United and City could go head to head over more than just the title race this season.
According to reports in Italy, the two clubs are interested in making a move for £22million Italian midfield starlet Lorenzo Pellegrini.
United have already scouted the 21-year-old more than once, and SunSport reported last month that Jose Mourinho’s side were interested in bringing in the young playmaker, who reportedly has a £22m release clause.
But they face competition from their cross-town rivals, who have also reportedly also developed an interest in him.
Pep Guardiola’s side are not short of midfield reinforcements though – with Kevin de Bruyne proving what a super box-to-box middle man he has been this season.
Pellegrini is proving he can also pass, move and his nine goals last term prove he can also score.
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He played for Sassuolo for two seasons after leaving Roma for the Serie A club in 2015.
But the Italian capital club wanted him back – and duly got the man who came through their youth system last summer.
According to Sky Italia, City have joined United in keeping track of Pellegrini, who has been in contention for a starting place in the Italy first-team, making his debut against Liechtenstein in the Azzurri’s 5-0 World Cup qualifying win.
If he plays regularly during the World Cup in Russia next summer, Pellegrini’s value could soar, so both clubs might want to make an early bid.
Of course, Italy itself now has competition for the big players, after AC Milan began a spending spree to try and re-build their reputation as one of Europe’s big boys alongside Juventus.
Lorenzo Pellegrini: Who is the Italian midfield sensation?
BORN in Rome in June 1996.
He suffered from arrhythmia as a youngster.
He joined his local side Roma’s youth team set-up and represented them in the Uefa Youth League.
Pellegrini was given his Roma debut at the age of 18 by then manager Rudi Garcia.
Sassuolo bought him for £1.11m, while Roma retained a buy-back clause in the deal.
During the 2016-17 season he became the youngest player to have a hand in 10 goals in a single Serie A campaign, with six goals and four assists in the league.
He made 34 appearances across all competitions that year.
Made his debut in an unofficial friendly with San Marino on May 31 this year, before making his debut proper on June 11 in the 5-0 win over Liechtenstein.
On June 30, Roma bought Pellegrini back for £8.87m on a five-year deal while youngster Federico Ricci went the other way.