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Manchester City Reportedly Set to Beat United to New York City's Jack Harrison

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2017

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04:  Jack Harrison of England looks on during a England U21 Training Session at St Georges Park on October 4, 2017 in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Manchester City are reportedly set to exercise their link with sister club New York City in order to beat Manchester United to the signing of starlet Jack Harrison. 

The Sun's Daniel Cutts reported the pair are both interested in the 20-year-old winger—who left United's academy for the USA aged 14—but the Sky Blues will have first refusal as both clubs are co-owned by the City Football Group.

According to Cutts, a source said: 

"City will have first dibs on Harrison at New York if he continues his rapid progress.

"It's sure to rub United up the wrong way after what happened to him as a kid. He's having a great time over in the U.S.

"City are hearing positive things from the execs in New York and that Harrison is an exciting late bloomer."

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

Manager Pep Guardiola may even have the option of inviting Harrison to train at City in order to better assess his abilities.

The youngster has had an excellent season in MLS, contributing 10 goals and three assists mainly from the right wing, though he has been used sporadically on the left or down the middle.

His form has seen him called up to England's under-21 side, prompting his club to share his highlights so far this season:

New York City FC @NYCFC

2017 just keeps getting better for @Harrison_Jack11... Check out the newly minted member of the #YoungLions first 10 goals this year 👇 https://t.co/UKHJaXzixc

Harrison is not only a goal threat, he's also a tricky dribbler, as OptaJack demonstrated:

OptaJack⚽️ @OptaJack

51 - @Harrison_Jack11 has completed 51 dribbles this season, the most of any @NYCFC player in any @MLS season. Elusive.

The winger is evidently delighted at the prospect of his first taste of international football:

New York City FC @NYCFC

@Harrison_Jack11 📹 | @Harrison_Jack11's reaction to being called upon to don the Three Lions for the first time 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 #NYCFC https://t.co/AZGKbNXbtX

While there's still a fairly large gap between the standards of the Premier League and MLS, it would be intriguing to see how Harrison fares at a higher level given the performances he's put in.

However, it's unlikely he'd receive much of a chance in City's first team, given they already have the likes of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Bernardo Silva competing for places out wide.

Nevertheless, the Sky Blues could offer him a window back into English football and better prospects of further international call-ups in the future, perhaps even to the senior team should he continue to develop his game.