Manchester City are locked in a head-to-head battle with AS Monaco to snap up Argentine defender Diego Novaretti, reports talkSPORT.

The 28-year-old centre-back has been heavily linked with a move to Europe after a series of impressive performances for Mexican side Toluca over the past four seasons.

Novaretti is understood to have already held talks with Manchester City's sporting director Txiki Begiristain about the possibility of a summer switch to the Etihad Stadium.

However, the transfer is being held up until incoming manager Manuel Pellegrini - who is expected to be announced as Roberto Mancini's successor in the next two weeks - gives the green light to signing the South American stopper.

In the meantime, French outfit AS Monaco have declared an interest in bringing Novaretti to Stade Louis II, as the newly promoted side look to establish themselves in Ligue 1 next season.

The 6ft 4in defender is regarded as one of the most impressive players in Mexico at the moment, hence why he's attracted admiring glances from a number of different clubs.

His commanding physical presence will make Novaretti well suited to the Premier League, while joining Manchester City over Monaco would also provide him with the opportunity to test himself in the Champions League.

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