Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira is on the wanted list of a number of Premier League teams, but now Manchester City could try and use their immense buying power to bring him to the Etihad Stadium.
The German international has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea in the past, but now both Manchester clubs have joined the race to land his signature.
Roberto Mancini wants cover for Yaya Toure, who will be away for up to eight weeks with the Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations at the start of 2012.
Khedira is part of a squad rotation system that sees him and Lassana Diarra basically share the midfield holding role.
But it is unlikely whether it would suit the 24-year-old to move to Eastlands purely as a back-up player until Toure returns.
Although Khedira himself seems unfazed by competition at his current club, he told Spox: “There is always competition for places at a club like Real Madrid, regardless of the position you play in.
“The only thing you can do is show what you’re worth on the pitch and that’s what I’ve been doing so far.”
Reports suggest Real would be looking for a fee of around £25m, which would seem an excessive fee for a back-up player at any other club other then Man City.
Footylatest.com also suggest that exiled Carlos Tevez could be offered as part of the deal, but this is merely hearsay and is not backed up in any way.
Whereas Mancini has Nigel De Jong and Owen Hargreaves to call upon, Alex Ferguson has a dearth of talent in that position, so Khedira would be the idea man to add steal to the United midfield at a vital time in their season.
Ferguson is rumoured to be pledging £20m to the deal, so if City are also intent on signing the player he may have to squeeze a few extra pounds out of the Glaziers in order to beat his neighbours to the quarry.
United would be able to offer more first-team football than City as well as a pivotal role in their midfield, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out over January.