Highly rated wing wizard Alexis Sanchez has moved a step closer to a summer move to England after Udinese president Giampolo Pozzo flew to England for talks with Manchester City reports skysports.com.
The 22-year-old Chilean international has also been heavily coveted by Manchester United in recent months, but it is neighbours City who have moved ahead in the race for Sanchez's signature.
The Serie A starlet has turned in a number of scintillating performances for Udinese this season, scoring 12 goals in the process.
His stock has risen considerably in recent months, and he is now regarded as one of the hottest properties in Europe.
Sanchez has been on the radar of Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson since he was a young teenager, even before he moved to Italy in 2008.
But the Red Devils have recently renewed interest when Old Trafford's chief European scout Martin Ferguson was sent to Italy to run the rule over a player who has been dubbed in the Italian press as the 'next Ronaldo'.
With those comparisons, it is clear to see why Manchester United would be interested in a player with Sanchez's ability.
And with the imminent retirements of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes just around the corner, Sanchez has been earmarked by Sir Alex as the first of a number of new signings that will kick start the rebuilding process at Manchester United, as he aims to put together another squad capable of challenging for honours at both domestic and European level.
However, United will face competition for Sanchez's signature from Roberto Mancini, after Eastlands officials flew to Italy to hold preliminary talks over a summer deal.
City are understood to be willing to match Udinese's £20million asking price, which has prompted Pozzo to make the trip to England earlier this week.