Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are among the Premier League clubs keeping a close eye on the contract situation of Abdisalam Ibrahim.
The former Norwegian youth international is out of contract at Manchester City next season, having made just three senior appearances to-date following a move to the Etihad Stadium back in 2007.
Ibrahim has spent loan spells with Scunthorpe United, NEC in Holland and Stromsgodset in his homeland, but a breakthrough under Roberto Mancini remains a long way off, and the 22-year-old is now looking for clarity on his situation with the Citizens.
Both the Gunners and Spurs are waiting in the wings should things go wrong at City, according to The Daily Star, with West Brom, Aston Villa, Fulham, Swansea City and Brighton & Hove Albion also keen on a player dubbed ‘the next Patrick Vieira.’
Vieira made his name at Arsenal during nine-years under Arsene Wenger, and the Emirates Stadium outfit have never been able to replace the former club captain since his exit in 2005.
Talk of ‘the next Vieira’ joining the Gunners is sure to excite fans, although Ibrahim is untested at the top level at this stage.
Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, aren’t short of defensive midfielders, with Scott Parker, Sandro and Tom Huddlestone all available to manager Andre Villas-Boas.
Ibrahim would certainly be one for the future, but again is unlikely to break straight into the first team at White Hart Lane.