Manchester City are leading the race in signing Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Ante Coric. Pep Guardiola has set his sights on strengthening the squad for the 2016/17 season as he looks to start his first season in the Premier League.
According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are all keen on securing the services of the talented midfielder. However, it is City who have marched ahead of their league rivals for the 19-year-old's signature.
The Merseyside club's manager Jurgen Klopp is keen on bringing Coric to Anfield. The former Borussia Dortmund boss even held talks with the midfielder in order to convince him to snub other clubs and join Liverpool.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have sent their scouts to watch Coric in action and have advised the Blues to seal the deal for him. Guardiola's City are ahead of all these clubs as the Etihad outfit are willing to offer £6m ($8.2m).
Zagreb are looking at £10m ($13.7m) including add-ons in allowing their starlet to leave the club in the summer transfer window. They believe the likes of Liverpool are willing to match their asking price.
Coric joined Zagreb's academy from Red Bull Salzburg in 2013 and in less than a year, he made his way into their first team. His impressive form has seen him make his debut for Croatia in May and he was included in Ante Cacic's squad for the ongoing European championship in France.
The teenager revealed that both City and Bayern Munich were interested in signing him, along with Real Madrid. Coric admitted that he held talks with the representatives of the respective clubs over a proposed transfer.
"I was very close to leaving Dinamo Zagreb. The communication with the club was quite bad," Coric told Vecernji List, as quoted by Goal.
"I spoke to Manchester City and Bayern Munich representatives, while I also spoke with a Real Madrid scout and there were other clubs interested in signing me as well.
"But everything has changed now and I am happy at Dinamo again. I think I will stay with Dinamo.
"Of course, everyone would like to play for a big club eventually, but I have a contract with Dinamo for four more seasons. I think I will stay put for two more years or so. I am still only 19."