Udinese have confirmed that Manchester City are leading the race to sign Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez, should the winger decide to leave the club.
The 22-year-old is being tracked by a string of clubs across Europe, withe Real Madrid, Juventus, Barcelona and AC Milan also thought to be chasing the player.
Reports in the Daily Mail over the weekend claimed Sir Alex Ferguson made a personal call to the player in an effort to tempt him towards an Old Trafford switch, but Zebrette president Giampaolo Pozzo has admitted that it's the Citizens who are currently in pole position.
"I think it is 50-50 he will stay, if Sanchez were to leave I would give City the highest percentage to sign him because English football is rich and it knows how to value young talent," said Pozzo.
"Inter, Juventus, Barca and City are all after Sanchez but no concrete offers reflecting the value of the player have arrived. I've already spoken with Alexis and his agent and I think they will understand I can't give him away."
It's thought that Sanchez will cost Manchester City in the region of £30 million, although the Stadio Friuli outfit have already rejected advances from clubs offering £26.3 million.
The Sunday Times reported that a delegation from Roberto Mancini's side were traveling to Italy yesterday, with football administrator Brian Marwood leading the team as they look to prize the player away from Serie 'A'.