Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has waded into the race to sign Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez, according to reports.
The Udinese star has been linked with a handful of clubs across Europe, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Roma all thought to be keen on adding the services of the 22-year-old.
Amidst reports in the Sunday Times that a Citizens delegation is flying out to Italy for talks over a £34 million deal, the Manchester United boss has phoned the player in an effort to persuade him to move to Old Trafford, according to the Daily Mail.
Ferguson is keen to strengthen his squad further next season in an effort to help Manchester United close the gap on Barcelona in the Champions League, and Sanchez has been earmarked as a player who could potentially make the difference.
It was claimed last week that Barca were set to open talks with Udinese over a move, with Spanish starlet Bojan potentially moving to Italy as part of the deal. However, it's thought that the catalan club are unwilling to meet the high valuation.
Whilst money is no object to City, Robert Mancini will be more than aware of interest from their rivals Manchester United, and is likely to want to tie up a deal quickly before the price inflates higher.
After scoring 12 goals in 27 appearances for the Zebrette last term, Sanchez has become one of the hottest properties in European football and has even been dubbed 'the next Cristiano Ronaldo' in some quarters.
The Portuguese winger had great success at Old Trafford under Ferguson, and the Scot will have hoped he was able to persuade Sanchez that he could follow in the footsteps of the current Madrid man and become a legend with Manchester United when he leaves the Stadio Friuli.