MANCHESTER CITY are lining up a January swoop for Espanyol left-back Aaron Martin, according to reports.
The 20-year-old defender is also being chased by Manchester United, but Pep Guardiola is ready to steal a march on his rivals.
According to ESPN, sources close to City have told the news outlet they have been left impressed by the Spanish youth international.
Scouts watched him in action in the recent 1-0 win over Real Betis in which Martin played the whole 90 minutes as well as a host of other matches in the last month.
Guardiola will look to lure the youngster to the Etihad in the winter transfer window with summer signing Benjamin Mendy poised to miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury.
Midfielder Fabian Delph has been forced to deputise at left-back in his absence, but the Eastlands side will now move to sign a replacement on a permanent basis.
The ex-Barcelona boss recently admitted he would be open for recruitments to be brought in when the transfer window opens.
And it is believed that Martin is at the top of his list as City look to pip the Red Devils not only to the Premier League title, but to his signature as well.
SunSport reported in October that United were keen on nabbing the £35.5million-rated full-back, where they have been tracking his progress for months.
Luke Shaw continues to be overlooked by Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford as Ashley Young is preferred in an unfamiliar role.
Martin is regarded as one of the top left-back’s in Europe after bursting on the scene with Espanyol last season.
He was rewarded with a contract until 2020 after a series of dazzling displays in La Liga.