Premier League leaders Manchester United and local rivals Manchester City are both chasing AS Roma star Erik Lamela, according to the Express. The 21-year-old Argentine international midfielder has had an exceptional season with the Serie A club, scoring 13 times from 25 league appearances.
It is believed City boss Roberto Mancini was in the Italian capital recently, to personally scout the young South American, who is contracted to the Giallorossi till 2016. As far as United's interest goes, the player's agent, Pablo Sabbag, has been quoted as denying any knowledge of Sir Alex Ferguson monitoring his client.
The Etihad club have Spanish international David Silva and Frenchman Samir Nasri as options in the playmaker role. However, the latter has failed to establish himself at the club this season and given a deteriorating relationship with Mancini, is likely to on his way out of the club ahead of next season.
SAF, on the other hand, has Japanese international Shinji Kagawa leading a fairly long list of attacking options but there are question marks over several of those options' futures. Anderson, for example, remains on the fringes of the first team at Old Trafford, a situation compounded by poor form and injury worries.
All of that means the Brazilian is reportedly ready to consider a move away, in search of regular football and a shot at making the Brazilian national side for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
That leaves attacking options like Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani, all of whom are more usually deployed on the wings and, in any case, have doubts over their future as well. Veteran Paul Scholes, for all his vision and passing ability, is 38 years old and fellow legend, Ryan Giggs, is 39.
United are, therefore, a little light in attacking midfield options and for that reason a move for Lamela is likely to be well received by fans. The Premier League duo will have to move fast though, with the Express also crediting Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona with an interest in the player.