Arsenal are tracking the progress of Bayer Leverkusen playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu ahead of a potential summer transfer bid, reports The Mail.
Manchester City scouts are also believed to be sending impressive reports back to Manuel Pellegrini with Calhanoglu inspiring Bayer's charge for Champions League football in the Bundesliga.
But Arsene Wenger has had Gunners scouts tracking the 21-year-old's progress since last season and the Premier League duo both look set to test Bayer's resolve at the end of the season.
Calhanoglu was strongly linked with a move to the Premier League last season when playing for Hamburg, but it was Bayer Leverkusen who convinced him to remain in Germany. They paid €14.5m and will need to make significant profit to be convinced to sell just one-year into a five-year contract.
After another impressive season, the Turkey international's stock has risen even higher, attracting more admiring glances from the Premier League.
Next Mesut Ozil
His ability has seen him likened to current Arsenal star Mesut Ozil, possibly strengthening Wenger's interest. Calhanoglu is also becoming one of the most deadly set-piece takers in the European game.
He has a long way to go to match the achievements of Arsenal's record signing, but has plenty of time to do so. A move to one of Europe's biggest clubs would surely help accelerate his development.
Last season he scored 11 goals for Hamburg and created four. This season has seen him assist just as many, but with nine goals already, he is likely to surpass last season's total goals. But it is not his goals and assists, rather his overall ability to connect defence and attack that has really impressed.
Who is favourite?
Attacking midfield is one of few positions that Arsenal do not need strengthening in, so it is strange to see them linked with a move for another. Wenger turned down the chance to sign Cesc Fabregas last summer thanks to a plethora of options and nothing has changed.
Meanwhile, Manchester City could find more space for Calhanoglu is James Milner leaves when his contract expires in the summer. David Silva is virtually immovable in the central attacking position, but Calhanoglu would surely get more game time with the Citizens than at the Emirates.
However, the chance to develop next the man he has tipped to emulate, Ozil, could prove to be too tempting for the young playmaker.
Where do you think Calhanoglu should choose if both Arsenal and Manchester City come calling this summer? Give us your thoughts in the comments box below!
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