Manchester City are battling Premier League rivals Chelsea for Sunderland wonderkid Bali Mumba, Alan Nixon of The Sun reports.
The 17-year-old midfielder shone for Sunderland in the FA Youth Cup against Halifax on Thursday, with scouts from both City and Chelsea in attendance to monitor his performance.
Mumba, who has made three appearances for the Black Cats in League One this season, has signed a pro deal at the Stadium of Light, but that hasn’t put off the two top-flight clubs.
City were in pole position for the England youth international and willing to pay £2.5 million, but Chelsea, City’s biggest rival at youth level, have entered the running.
Sunderland could cash in on their teen sensation in January to raise funds to boost their promotion push, with the club operating on a tight budget.
According to the report, Mumba is happy at Sunderland but could find it hard to resist offers for the Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge.