In coming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag want sign Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse.
And that could spark a £75million summer tug-of-war, as City chief Pep Guardiola is a big fan of the Southampton skipper.
Ten Hag faces a huge rebuilding job at Old Trafford and has already started drawing up a hit-list.
And he has got the okay to go for Ward-Prowse, 27, with West Ham intent on keeping Declan Rice for one more season.
The Hammers want £150million for Rice, too much for the Red Devils, who will almost certainly miss out on the Champions League next term.
Ward-Prowse earns around £100,000-a-week with Saints, meaning his salary — even with a hefty hike — is no stumbling block either.
His five-year contract runs until June 2026, and he is not pressing for a move although the lure of joining one of football’s big guns would be hard to resist. Guardiola wants a midfielder to replace the departing Fernandinho.