Manchester United have reportedly stepped up their bid to sign Manchester City youth player James McAtee, who is wanted by a number of clubs.
The 19-year-old playmaker has a number of keen admirers both within the City hierarchy and from clubs elsewhere, with LaLiga giants Barcelona also rumoured to be ready to make a move to bring him to Catalonia.
McAtee only has 18 months left to run on his Etihad contract, which has alerted several suitors. At this stage, clubs are waiting to see if he opts to renew his deal or looks to move on.
The teenager actually began his career at United before being released by the Red Devils. However, club scouts have kept an eye on his progress at their bitter rivals.
Reported interest from Liverpool has also sparked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men into action. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid and Ajax have also been credited with an interest.
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Should McAtee make the controversial switch back to Salford, it would mark the second time in recent years United have raided their rivals’ academy.
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Young striker Charlie McNeill scored a staggering 600 goals across City’s various age groups. However, he opted for a move to Old Trafford last year.
McAtee has been dubbed the ‘Salford Silva’ by his own fanbase. That is due to his similar playing style to City legend David Silva.
The attacking midfielder notched a hat-trick against Club Brugge in the UEFA Youth League last week.
While City are keen to keep him, it’s now up to McAtee to decide if he wants to stay on.
But one thing is for sure, the likes of United and Liverpool will keep monitoring his progress in the hope that he doesn’t put pen to paper.