Manchester City are reportedly keen to sign Celtic youngster Karamoko Dembele following the 13-year-old's recent run-out for the Hoops' under-20 side against Hearts.
According to Daniel Cutts in the Sun, City see Dembele as another excellent prospect to add to their ever-growing academy of talented youngsters, and Sky Blues chiefs "are hoping to strike a deal to get [him] south of the border."
Per Cutts, a City source explained that the Etihad Stadium club have been following the young playmaker for some time: "He has been on the radar for a number of months now. He is very talented. The club is always searching around Europe for another potential star, and Dembele is one being looked at."
Dembele made headlines last week as he came on as a substitute for the Scottish champions' under-20 outfit despite usually playing for the under-14s and under-15s, per football writer Liam O'Hare:
According to PA Sport (via ESPN FC), he has recently put in numerous eye-catching performances in the youth ranks, picking up the award for player of the tournament at the St. Kevin's Boys Club competition in which Celtic competed against West Bromwich Albion, Deportivo La Coruna and Barcelona.
Blessed with great pace and control, Dembele can operate either from the flank or in the centre of midfield and boasts a huge amount of raw talent.
The video below shows a glimpse as to what he is capable of:
Clearly, Celtic would be loath to lose him to City, and the Glasgow outfit reportedly fielded him in the under-20s "to help their case in court if another club tried to snipe him," per Cutts.
They hope to be able to prove that they played a key part in his development and gave him opportunities, factors that could potentially be key when it comes to claiming compensation.
Given City's financial clout and the fact that they advance their youngsters' educations by sending them to St. Bede's private school, Dembele and his representatives will undoubtedly be tempted should the Sky Blues move to sign him.
The Premier League club's prospects in European competition are also stronger now they have Pep Guardiola as their manager, likely another consideration that could sway Dembele.
It is far from a given that Dembele will become a star, but City have more than enough resources to help him in his progress.
However, Celtic are the team who have nurtured Dembele thus far, and City will have to put forward a convincing argument that Manchester is now the best place for the teenager if they are to sign him up.