Arsenal and Manchester City are preparing for a surprise £10million battle over youngster Liam Moore in the January transfer window after impressing scouts from both the Premier League giants.
The Leicester City centre-back has been one of the stand out young players this season following the Foxes' promotion from the Championship and his performances have caught the eye of both Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino.
According to The Sun, both the Gunners and Citizens are ready to pay as much as £10million to secure the services of the 21-year-old, as both clubs have had to address defensive issues at the start of the current Premier League campaign.
As the report mentions, Moore stood out for the England Under-21s in their European Championship play-off victory against Croatia earlier this month, where he scored a crucial goal, and has already been the subject of a failed £5million from struggling Fulham.
Nigel Pearson will desperate to keep hold of Moore in the winter transfer window, as he has been an integral part to a solid start to Leicester's campaign for Premier League survival. However, the midlands club will struggle to resist if they eyes of Arsenal and Manchester City have fallen upon one of their most saleable assets.
Arsene Wenger was criticised after the closing of the transfer window for not recruiting another defender, with the defensive ranks at the Emirates Stadium looking a bit thin. The Arsenal manager's worst fears have come to pass as defensive injuries are leaving him desperate.
he has shown he can handle the step up in class in the Premier League and has grown in stature this term
Summer signing Mathieu Debuchy was ruled out until 2015 with ankle ligament damage, while Laurent Koscielny is managing chronic tendonitis in both achilles tendons. It has meant forcing Hector Bellerin into his Premier League debut, deploying Calum Chambers at right-back and having to play Left-back Nacho Monreal in the middle.
Moore would provide some extra cover in the middle for Koscielny and Per Mertesacker, while also being a promising option for the future. The Leicester youth graduate has always been strong and quick, but he has shown he can handle the step up in class in the Premier League and has grown in stature this term.
Meanwhile, Manchester City have a full compliment of centre-backs at the Etihad Stadium, but Manuel Pellegrini appears to have lost faith in youngster Matija Nastasic, who has not played a match this season since the Community Shield.
He could well be on his way out of the Premier League champions come the January transfer window and Moore could be seen as a possible replacement for Serbia international, who is also 21.