Manchester United and Tottenham are both fighting for the signature of highly rated Serbian Radosav Pertovic, according to the Metro.
Italian giants Inter Milan and Juventus were initially front runners but the Italian press are now reporting they have slipped behind the Barclays Premier League pair.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Spurs boss Harry Redknapp both sent scouts to watch Petrovic and were also suitably impressed by his performances in the Champions League against Arsenal.
Neither team are in a rush to capture his signing in January and both are expected to pursue him in the summer if they cannot sign him this month.
Manchester United are in the market for a younger midfielder as Owen Hargreaves is set to leave Old Trafford on a free transfer at the end of the season.
The Red Devils are in pole position at this moment in time because Petrovic knows Manchester United central defender Nemanja Vidic from their days with the Serbia national team.
However, Spurs could put up a fight of their own and believe their contingent of Eastern Europeans could help to swing the deal their way.
Redknapp is keen to bolster his White Hart Lane squad but could wait until the end of the season because the 21-year-old will be cup tied for the Champions League.
However, if they can wrap up the signing in January, it would aid the Tottenham boss of he felt the need to rotate his squad for their league and cup campaigns.