Manchester United are one of three Premier League clubs trying to sign young Manchester City starlet Jadon Sancho.
The other two are rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, report the Manchester Evening News.
It is understood Sancho, 17, was excluded from City’s pre-season tour squad over his refusal to sign a new contract amid interest from the north London clubs.
However, it is understood United are ‘pushing hard’ to convince England youth international Sancho to remain in the north-west and move across Manchester.
Sancho is believed to want a clearer pathway to first-team football after he was named best player at the Under-17 European Championship in Croatia and is tempted by a return down south.
The teenager is also prepared to spend a year overseas, potentially at RB Leipzig, in order for his new club to avoid paying a significant compensation fee to City. If Sancho, who is on a youth contract, moved to a Premier League club they would have to pay training compensation.
Former Watford scholar Sancho scored seven times for an England side deprived of United talent Angel Gomes during the Euros in May and is regarded among City’s most exciting talents, along with Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz.
Sancho was disgruntled by Pep Guardiola’s decision to include Foden and Diaz in the squad which flew to the United States and could leave after two years.
Guardiola’s decision was particularly curious since City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak mentioned Sancho, Foden and Diaz as youngsters who have a ‘very good chance’ of making their first-team.
Khaldoon said: “You look at Sancho, you look at Phil Foden, you look at Brahim Diaz, just to name a few. These are players that are extremely talented. These are players who have a very good chance of making it to the first-team.
“And these are players that if you ask Pep today he will tell you they can and will be first team players at Manchester City. There is a balance that you have to strike.
If United manage to convince Sancho to join them it would represent a major coup amid intense recruitment competition at academy level.
United trialist Yeboah Amankwah joined City last year after they offered the South London-born defender better terms, which convinced academy head Nicky Butt to veto a move for Amankwah.
The club also handed trials to City pair Edward Elewa-Ikpakwu and Ellis Simms last year at a behind-closed-doors fixture at Altrincham.
City also attempted to sign United’s mercurial winger Callum Gribbin, who also generated interest from Liverpool before he signed a new contract in 2015.