Liverpool and Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Hakan Calhanoglu, after the Hamburg midfielder revealed his desire to play under Roberto Mancini, reports Sky Sports.
The Turkey international is also wanted by Super Lig giants Galatasaray, who are now the favourites to secure his signature when the transfer window reopens in January.
"It's true, Mancini wants me and I hope that I can work with him one day because he's a great coach," Calhanoglu told Turkish television station Beyaz TV.
"There have been talks and my agent is in touch with Galatasaray."
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has also been credited with an interest in bringing Calhanoglu to the Emirates Stadium, despite his current wealth of midfield options in north London.
The club-record capture of Mesut Ozil on summer deadline day has helped propel Arsenal towards the top of the Premier League table, and the 19-year-old's arrival would only further enhance their title chances this season.
Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has been monitoring Calhanoglu's development in the Bundesliga closely, as he weighs up a rival bid to lure him to Anfield.
Liverpool remain in title contention themselves, thanks largely to the prolific form of star striker Luis Suarez, and would strengthen their senior squad again by securing the talented teenager's signature.
However, Calhanoglu warned all of his suitors - Liverpool, Arsenal and Galatasaray - that if he is to leave Germany in the New Year, then it will have to be with the guarantee of regular first-team football.
"If I move, then I want to be playing in the starting XI," he added. "That will be an important factor in my decision.
"If I were to join Galatasaray, then I know that I would be competing for a place with Wesley Sneijder."
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