Manchester City and Manchester United will both have scouts present for Anderlecht’s visit to Mechelen on Friday evening, Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws has confirmed.
The Manchester giants will be in good company, with talent-spotters from Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, Olympique Marseille, Stade Rennes, Atlético Madrid, sc Heerenveen and AZ also present.
The Belgian league is known for developing great talents, with City’s Kevin De Bruyne and United’s Romelu Lukaku just two examples, and Anderlecht in particular has been one of Europe’s great talent factories over the years.
It isn’t clear who City will be watching, but Manchester United will be observing highly-rated midfielder, Leander Dendoncker, who has been on Jose Mourinho’s list of potential targets for a while.
With Yaya Touré’s Manchester City tenure in its final stages and Fernandinho well into his 30s, City are certainly looking for a defensive midfielder, which Dendoncker is.
Sergej Milinković-Savić (Lazio), Danilo Pereira (FC Porto) and Lorenzo Pellegrini (AS Roma) are three other midfielders who have been strongly linked with a move to the Etihad, but perhaps Dendoncker is another one who City, like Man United, will keep a close eye on as the season progresses.
Capped twice by Belgium at senior level, 22-year-old Dendoncker is viewed as one of the next big things to emerge in Belgium, along with fellow Anderlecht academy graduate, Youri Tielemans, who joined Monaco in the summer.