Manchester City have opened negotiations with AZ Alkmaar over the signing of Adam Maher, according to reports.

The Daily Express claims Citizens chief Roberto Mancini has moved into pole position in his bid to land one of the club’s long term targets, stepping ahead of Premier League rivals for the player’s signature.

Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal were also keen on the Dutch international, according to the report, but a switch to the Etihad Stadium now appears to be on the cards.

Reports across Europe claim Manchester City have already opened talks over the player’s move to England from the Eredivisie at the end of the season, with the Express claiming that the attacking midfielder will cost in the region of €18million.

The speculation comes just days after the player’s manager, Gertjan Verbeek, admitted that his client is set to leave the AFAS Stadium at the end of the season.

"The expectation is that Maher will leave the club," he said.

Despite the array of superstars at Mancini’s disposal, the Manchester City manager does not have a Dutchman in his ranks following Nigel De Jong’s exit to AC Milan last summer.

The Italian did try to bring Robin Van Persie to the Citizens, of course, but lost out to local rivals Manchester United.

Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, sent scouts to watch Maher in action back in February, but manager Andre Villas-Boas now looks set to miss out on the 19-year-old.

He isn’t the only midfielder to be linked with a move to White Hart Lane though, with Joao Moutinho also on the Spurs radar.

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