Manchester City are in pole position to sign playmaker Adam Maher from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, amid much Premier League interest.
The 19-year-old has also attracted attention from Arsenal and Chelsea with his eye-catching performances in the Eredivisie in the past two seasons.
City director of football Txiki Begiristain has held talks over a move for Maher and the Netherlands international has been invited to attend a game at the Etihad Stadium.
He is seen as a potential replacement for Samir Nasri, who Goal.com revealed last week could be sold by the Premier League champions if they receive a bid in the region of 18 million pounds.
Maher, who supported Ajax in his childhood, turned down a move to City when they tried to sign him as a youth player.
He is under contract until 2015 and was rewarded for his impressive form with a substantial pay rise in October, as AZ looked to fend off interest from around Europe.
Dutch rivals Ajax and PSV Eindhoven are also battling for Maher’s signature and the player has spoken of his preference to remain in the Netherlands at this stage in his career to satisfy his desire for regular football.
PSV had a series of bids rejected during the January transfer window but could be blown out of the water if City – or another English side – make a firm offer.
Maher has scored 19 goals and provided 16 assists in 84 appearances for AZ since making his debut at the age of 17 in December 2010.