Manchester City are preparing a bid to scupper Manchester United's chances of signing Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona in the summer, according to the Daily Express.
The report states that the Spanish international is unhappy with the Catalan giants and has endured a tough campaign despite featuring in 33 La Liga matches this season. The midfielder was jeered when he came on as a substitute during last month's 2-1 victory against Athletic Bilbao.
United were keen on signing the Spaniard last summer but were unable to prise him away from the Catalan giants, forcing them to splash the cash on Marouane Fellaini instead.
The Express' report also suggests Barcelona's technical director Andoni Zubizaretta is not willing to part ways with their star midfielder. However, his counterpart at the Etihad, Txiki Begiristain is said to be a staunch admirer of Fabregas and will go all guns blazing to make him a part of City's roster.
The Citizens are considering options to bolster their midfield to prevent injury setbacks to star midfielders like Yaya Toure or David Silva from affecting their campaign in the future. Fabregas, who turns 27 on 4 May, plied his trade with Arsenal for eight seasons before moving to his boyhood club in 2011.
The Red Devils are reportedly looking to appoint an experienced manager at the end of the season with Louis Van Gaal believed to be the front-runner for the role. The outgoing English champions are said to be planning an overhaul of over £100m during the upcoming transfer window and have Fabregas' name as one of their top targets.
The Catalan Giants are believed to be interested in signing Arturo Vidal from Serie A giants Juventus. Any successful move for the Chilean midfielder could definitely raise a question mark on Fabregas' future.
Fabregas is due to enter the final two years of his contract with Barcelona in the summer. Meanwhile, the report by Goal.com suggests that Barcelona are willing to listen to offers from foreign clubs.
It suggests that Arsenal could enter the race to re-sign their former player by exploring the first-option clause inserted in the midfielder's contract.
It also claims that the Gunners have a buy-back clause for Fabregas valued at £23.8m.
The north London club are reportedly looking out to sign a midfielder as long-term replacement for 32-year-old Mikel Arteta with Lars Bender said to be a target for Arsene Wenger.