Leeds, Nott’m Forest among four clubs showing ‘strong interest’ in Man City starlet James McAtee

Man City attacking midfielder James McAtee

Man City attacking midfielder James McAtee on the ball during league match against Norwich

Leeds United and Nottingham Forest are part of a four-club race to land Manchester City’s James McAtee on loan, according to a report.

McAtee is the latest starlet to emerge from City’s impressive production line. Phil Foden is the marquee academy product, while Cole Palmer looks set to follow in his footsteps.

McAtee is a step behind Palmer but still has a bright future at the Etihad. He is a vital part of the City U23 team and has also won three caps for England U20s.

The attacking midfielder was in great form last season as City U23s won the Premier League 2 title. He registered 18 goals and seven assists in just 23 matches.

City officials want the 19-year-old to get more senior experience this season. Due to this, they will loan him out to a top-flight club this summer.

A report in June claimed Leeds want to sign McAtee permanently. However, City know the playmaker has huge potential and will not sell unless there is a significant bid.

The Daily Mail reiterate Leeds’ interest, which is now seen as ‘strong’, although the Whites now know a loan move is their best bet.

Unfortunately for Leeds director of football Victor Orta, there are three other clubs hoping to secure McAtee’s services for a season.

James McAtee a hot property on the loan market

Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth have both set their sights on him. There are links with abroad too, as La Liga outfit Villarreal are interested in a temporary deal.

City will let him go to any of the four teams as of now. But they do ask that he receives plenty of game time in return.

The report reveals Brighton made an offer to land the teenager last summer. However, it fell on deaf ears and the Seagulls are now focusing on other targets.

McAtee would be a good signing for any of the four clubs who like him. He is brilliant technically, just like most of City’s academy players.

By looking at Foden and Palmer, you can see the type of star McAtee is expected to become in Manchester.

Leeds or Forest could benefit from having him in their squad for next season. A move to Elland Road would likely see McAtee deputise for Brenden Aaronson, who is himself a new arrival for Jesse Marsch.

The Salford-born ace would have to get used to a new system if he did move to West Yorkshire. While City teams generally play 4-3-3, Marsch could operate with a 4-2-2-2 formation next season.

If this happens, then McAtee would likely play as one of the two behind the strikers. This means he would take part in more moves out wide and would have to track back more than as a typical central attacking midfielder.

This isn’t a bad thing, as it would make McAtee versatile in different formations and ensure he returns to City as a more rounded player next summer.

Meanwhile, Raphinha has been speaking about the influence former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has had on his career.