Manchester City have reportedly sent scouts to watch Brescia youngster Sandro Tonali, as they prepare to rival Manchester United for the teenager's signature
Having been described as a blend of Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso, it is clear to see why Europe's elite clubs are so keen on capturing Tonali's signature, given they are two of Italy's best midfielders from the past couple of decades.
The 19-year-old has been linked with a move to the likes of United, Inter, Juventus, Real Madrid, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain, and it now appears that City are ready to compete for his services.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, City sent scouts over to Italy to watch Brescia take on Roma this Sunday, with a specific eye on Tonali's performance. Despite Brescia currently sitting at the foot of Serie A, the youngster has continually impressed with his ferocious tackling and gracefulness with the ball at his feet.
He has started every game in the Italian top tier this season, as well as featuring for Italy's national team in their recent 3-0 victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina and their 9-1 drubbing of Armenia.
With Brescia looking increasingly likely to be relegated this season amid tensions in their camp - including a bust-up between Mario Balotelli and manager Fabio Grosso this week - it appears inevitable that Tonali will make his big-money move sooner rather than later.
Reports claim Man Utd are preparing a £40m bid for the Italian but Brescia president Massimo Cellino, formerly of Leeds ownership fame, has put an incredible £256m price tag on his head, immediately pricing Tonali out of a move.
City, meanwhile, have had a difficult start to the season, albeit by their incredibly high standards, and it looks as if Pep Guardiola will dip in to his 'war chest' come January.
With Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho all 28 or older, Guardiola may want to introduce some youth in to his world-class midfield - and Tonali could be the first piece of the jigsaw, despite the summer purchase of Rodri from Atletico Madrid.