Manchester United and Liverpool appear set to go head-to-head off the pitch in January, with both sides hoping to secure the signing of Southampton's Adam Lallana per the Metro's Danny Griffiths.
Saints captain Lallana, 25, has impressed in scoring four Premier League goals so far this season and made an excellent impression on his first England outings against Germany and Chile last month.
As a consequence, he is now being tracked by some of the English game's biggest names including both Liverpool and United.
Adam Lallana has been simply superb, wonderful to watch. He has had the Cardiff players chasing shadows. Certain for World Cup. #saintsfc— James Masters (@Masters_JamesD) December 26, 2013
Were it to come down to a simple choice, the Southampton man would be best served moving to Liverpool ahead of David Moyes' United.
For Lallana to move to a top side in the Premier League, his primary considerations should be where his style is best suited and where he would be afforded more playing time. In both cases, of the two clubs, the answer is Liverpool.
Lallana's playing style is based on fast interplay with teammates, using his technique and vision to circulate the ball quickly and thus create space. It is perfectly in tune with what Liverpool are trying to achieve under Brendan Rodgers.
Manchester United, however, tend to approach games with a different mindset based upon speed and width. Under both Sir Alex Ferguson and now David Moyes, wingers have been preferred to central attacking midfielders.
The travails of Shinji Kagawa at Old Trafford should ring alarm bells with Lallana. Kagawa could fit into Moyes' system and has done well in the Champions League this campaign.
He is, though, inhibited by the need to also accommodate Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, forcing him to operate outside of the central areas in which he rose to the top of the game.
Which club should Lallana choose?
Lallana would have similar problems and, while he is not averse to playing from wide, he would encounter the same difficulties Kagawa faces in influencing the game while the two big-name forwards play.
At Liverpool, he would have less competition for a starting place than at Old Trafford, while also finding a system more accommodating to his style of play. It is easy, for example, to see him fitting in well alongside the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson.
Lallana may well be best served sticking with a Southampton side that have been heading firmly in the right direction over the past couple of years, but a shot at Champions League football would doubtless appeal.
Having long been underrated by virtue of playing away from the media glare, he is fast becoming one of English football's most respected technicians and attracting attention from many quarters. For Southampton and manager Mauricio Pochettino, it is the unfortunate price of success.