6 Transfer Targets Manchester United and Manchester City Are Battling for

Max TowleAnalyst IApril 7, 2013

6 Transfer Targets Manchester United and Manchester City Are Battling for

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    On the pitch, Manchester United and Manchester City are fierce rivals and currently the two leaders in the race for the Premier League title.

    Off the pitch, the clubs constantly battle for the game's elite talents in the transfer market.

    In recent years, the Blues snatched the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Samir Nasri from under United's noses, while Sir Alex Ferguson was able to convince Robin van Persie to move to the red half of the city in the summer.

    Here are six players whom transfer reports would have you believe both clubs are chasing.

    Pick a winner.

Kurt Zouma

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    French side AS Saint-Etienne are currently one of the hottest teams in Europe.

    Christophe Galtier's side haven't lost a Ligue 1 game in 11 fixtures and sit in fifth place in the table, three points back from Lyon in the third Champions League place.

    One of the club's elite young talents is central defender Kurt Zouma—a player who made his first-team debut at only 16 years of age.

    Now 18, the Frenchman has been scouted by both United and City as a potential future signing.

    According to reports, Zouma has visited both Old Trafford and the Etihad in the past 12 months to sample life in rainy Britain.

Christian Eriksen

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    The gifted Christian Eriksen is one of the most highly valued youngsters in world football.

    Both the Blues and the Red Devils are believed to be tracking his progress at Ajax very closely.

    The attacking midfielder's agent recently revealed that "Eriksen took just 10 seconds to snub Manchester City last summer" following an approach (via ESPN).

    It is believed the Denmark international favours a move to Old Trafford.

    According to the Daily Mail, "Eriksen has previously identified United and Barcelona as two clubs he would be interested in joining, and he will ask Ajax's new director of football Marc Overmars if a move to United is a possibility."

    While such a story cannot be taken at face value, if true, it is certain to warm the hearts of fans of the 19-time league-winners.

Alen Halilovic and Sime Vrsaljko

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    Alen Halilovic and Sime Vrsaljko are currently viewed as the great hopes of Croatian football.

    The former is a 16-year-old diminutive attacking midfielder, while the latter is a 21-year-old right-back who has already been capped for the national side.

    Manchester City's interest in the two prodigies is known, but according to the Daily Mail, the Red Devils are also prepared to pounce.

    "United chief executive David Gill flew to Croatia on Tuesday for talks about signing Dinamo Zagreb’s £15million-rated teenage sensation Alen Halilovic," the report claims.

    "Gill also enquired about right-back Sime Vrsaljko and could now follow up with an audacious £20 million double deal for two of Croatia’s hottest prospects."

    Though certainly ambitious, if United could lure both players to Old Trafford, it would represent quite a coup for the club.

Victor Wanyama

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    Celtic midfield beast Victor Wanyama's stock has risen sharply over the past 12 months.

    The 21-year-old Kenyan has been watched closely in the Scottish side's run to the Champions League Round of 16 and was particularly impressive in the club's famous win over Barcelona in November.

    With Manchester United's current lack of a physical presence in midfield increasingly noticeable, Wanyama would fit the bill.

    According to a report in the Daily Mail, Wanyama "was watched by City scouts...against Juventus and they were joined in the crowd by representatives from Chelsea and Arsenal" in February.

    But unless the Blues have any secret desire to move on Yaya Toure (which, let's face it, is unlikely), the Red Devils would represent the No. 1 contenders for Wanyama's signature from within Britain.

Cristiano Ronaldo

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    As we come to the final slide, it becomes necessary to mention a certain Cristiano Ronaldo—the ultimate summer transfer target for both Manchester United and Manchester City.

    With a dwindling contract and apparent unhappiness at the Bernabeu, rumours of a blockbuster move away from Real Madrid have swelled this season.

    In an interview with The Sun in February, the Portuguese forward was asked about a potential future move to the Etihad.

    "I’m not going to say it is impossible, because in football the impossible doesn’t exist," he said.

    "But I can say it would be very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very difficult to play at Man City. Very difficult because of Manchester United." 

    Can you see any of these players moving to United or City this summer?