Manchester City are prepared to fight Barcelona for the signature of highly rated Brazilian playmaker Arthur Maia reports the Daily Mail.
The 18-year-old starlet currently plies his trade for local side Vitoria in Brazil but is said to have caught the eye after a string of sensational performances in a recent under-20 tournament in Germany.
Barcelona are said to be scouting the left-footed midfield man who is regarded as a hot prospect for the future with an excellent turn of pace, great vision and technical ability in abundance.
Since Manchester City came to the table Maia’s valuation has been significantly inflated in an attempt to fend off interest, which also comes from a number of leading clubs in Italy and Germany reports Goal.com.
Maia is determined to not let the speculation affect him, and wants to remain grounded in the wake of reports linking him with both Barcelona and Manchester City.
"In the tournaments in Germany, I played well and attracted the attention of two clubs," said Maia. "But I prefer to continue in Vitoria for a little bit more.
"I have great love, respect and affection for the coaching staff. Playing here, I can gain more visibility and I hope to continue playing well to attract the scouts.
"It's time to learn. I am very satisfied at the club and I still think there is plenty of time to go to play in Europe," he concluded in an interview with Sport.es.
City boss Roberto Mancini is constantly on the lookout for up and coming talent to add to his multi-million-pound squad at Eastlands, as the Citizens look to strengthen in an attempt to ascertain an assault on the Barclays Premier League title next season and could get their man for as little as £3million.