Pep Guardiola is ready to do battle with arch rivals Manchester United and Barcelona for the signature of highly rated Ajax wonderkid Frenkie De Jong in January, in order to bolster his midfield options.
According to reports in the Mirror, Manchester City tabled a £50m offer for the 21-year-old in the summer but it was rejected by Ajax - who are confident their star man in is staying put in Amsterdam.
De Jong has been ever present for Ajax this season and has also caught the eye of Spanish champions Barcelona.
With passing accuracy of almost 92% this season, De Jong would integrate well into a team where possession of the ball is key to the philosophy Pep Guardiola has implemented.
Guardiola has identified that the defensive midfield position is a potential weak spot for the champions, as relying solely on the ageing Fernandinho as the only recognised defensive midfielder is not feasible.
Questions have been asked of how long box-to-box midfielder Fernandinho, who represented his country Brazil at the World Cup, can continue to perform at such a high level week in week out at the age of 33.
Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara and Adrien Rabiot of Paris Saint-Germain are also on City’s radar, with Alcantara having played under Guardiola at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
A potential move for Alcantara in January could be on the cards with Bayern stating they were open for offers for the Spanish midfielder in the summer. 23-year-old Rabiot, an ex-Manchester City academy player, is out of contract in the summer and could potentially move to the Etihad on a free.