Man Utd, City among chief threats to Barcelona in pursuit of Yusuf Demir

Manchester United and Manchester City are both tracking Rapid Vienna starlet Yusuf Demir – but neither are the favourites to sign him, according to reports.

Demir has risen to prominence since breaking into the Rapid first team in December 2019. Since then, he has established himself as a regular component of their side.

Still a few months away from his 18th birthday, Demir appears to be one of the most promising players in Europe. Should his rise continue, he will likely move on for bigger things.

The forward is already attracting interest from a number of the continent’s biggest clubs. Man Utd’s interest has been apparent for a few months.

But the race to sign the 17-year-old is heating up. According to ESPN, City are also showing an interest.

The favourites to sign Demir, though, are Barcelona – who have been scouting him for a substantial period of time.

Now that Joan Laporta has returned as president, Barcelona can begin building for the future. The club chief will be shown a dossier on Demir from their scouts.

Should they firm up their interest, a summer transfer could materialise. With Demir out of contract in 2022, it’s an ideal time for Rapid to cash in.

According to ESPN, it could take anywhere between €5m and €15m to prise him away from the Austrian club.

That’s a fee that United and City would be able to meet if they decided to press ahead with their own interest. Bundesliga pair Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are also keen.

But the chance to play with Lionel Messi at Barcelona may be the decisive factor for Demir. Therefore, the Manchester duo would have to find another way to convince him.

So far this season, Demir has scored three goals in the Austrian Bundesliga, despite only starting four games in the competition.

It seems he will get the chance to continue his development at a higher level after he turns 18 in June.

It could still be all to play for in the race to sign him, though, as there is nothing official with Barcelona yet. Hence, City and United will have to keep monitoring the situation.

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City thwarting Utd transfer plans

Meanwhile, another report has revealed how City are trying to stop United from signing one of their former players.

It has come to light that City included a clause when selling Brahim Diaz to Real Madrid that would punish his next employers if they then sent him to United.

Diaz is currently on loan at AC Milan from Madrid, and played against United in the Europa League Round of 16 first leg.

It is not yet clear if United possess a genuine interest in him, but City would be keeping a close eye on proceedings if they did.

READ MOREPricey defender who ‘can play for great clubs’ still on Man Utd radar

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