Manchester City have inched ahead of Manchester United in the race to secure the services of Valencia centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, according to Spanish newspaper Super Deporte.
The Valencia-based publication reported earlier this week that officials from both Premier League clubs had met with prestigious agent Jorge Mendes and the player's representative, Eugenio Lopez, in order to secure his departure from Valencia.
Super Deporte added that both clubs would table formal offers to the La Liga in the coming days as the Argentina international, who is still on holiday after playing in the Copa America, is likely to resolve his future before he has to return to training at the club on 24 July.
The Spanish newspaper has now claimed that the feeling after those meetings is that City are currently "the clear favourite" to win the battle for the 27-year-old star.
Super Deporte suggests that Manuel Pellegrini's side are in pole position as they told Otamendi's agents they are ready to launch a lucrative bid for the player, while United officials are more hesitant about it.
Valencia have refused to negotiate the player's sale for less than his €50m (£34.8m, $54.1m) release clause.
But with Otamendi desperately looking to move away and Mendes being involved in the negotiations, they may accept something a little bit lower.
Nevertheless, the prestigious agent has a close personal relationship with Valencia owner Peter Lim and has been in charge of most of club's negotiations since he took over the club last year.