Manchester United and Tottenham are faced with being blown out of the water by Malaga in the chase to land FC Basel star Xherdan Shaqiri.
TalkSPORT reports how the 20-year-old Swiss international midfielder is one of the most sought-after players on the continent, with Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan also credited with an interest.
Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson is believed to have been monitoring Shaqiri for over a year, as he weighs up an offer to bring him to Old Trafford, while Spurs chief Harry Redknapp is also keen to take him to White Hart Lane in January.
Shaqiri is the leading light of the Basel team that will look to shatter Manchester United's hopes of UEFA Champions League progression when they travel to Switzerland next week.
Having impressed in the previous encounter against United, Ferguson looked set to renew his interest in Shaqiri when the transfer window reopens in the New Year, but will now face a fight with Malaga.
Bankrolled by ambitious Qatari investors, the La Liga club are desperate to break the Spanish duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid, and want to sign the brightest young talent Europe has to offer.
They look set to open a potential bidding war with Manchester United and Tottenham by starting with a £25million offer for Shaqiri.