Barcelona have reportedly entered the chase for Manchester City prodigy James McAtee, also a target for Manchester United.
According to a report by Daily Mail, Barcelona are the latest club to show an interest in James McAtee. The 19-year-old attacker, dubbed the “Salford Silva”, is also the subject of interest from Manchester United, with a gamut of other prominent clubs closely monitoring his progress as well.
James McAtee is a former Manchester United trainee but has made most of the progress in his youth career since joining the famed Manchester City academy in 2013. The teenage prospect has come leaps and bounds in the last eight years, emerging as the latest prodigious talent to go on the periphery of the first team.
The 19-year-old has been handed his senior debut this season, while in age-group football, he has 15 goals in 14 outings, a tally that includes three hat-tricks. With McAtee making swift progress in the youth setup at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola is eager to hand him more game-time with the first team. However, City need to be wary of looming prospective suitors, with Barcelona and Manchester United interested.
Barcelona are creating a young core group of players who would serve the club for the coming decade. Such an outlook has prompted them to make Pedri a key figure in the first-team setup while still in his teens and promote promising midfielders like Gavi and Nico Gonzalez.
However, with Philippe Coutinho deemed surplus to requirements amid links with Newcastle United, McAtee could be the ideal long-term replacement at Camp Nou. On the other hand, Manchester United are in a precarious position over the long-term future of Paul Pogba.
The French midfielder seems to be running down his contract with the Red Devils, who could be forced to enter the market for a replacement. To that end, McAtee is the ideal candidate to replace Pogba, seeing as his abilities have helped him draw comparisons with David Silva, which explains the interest from Manchester United.
Manchester City have already rejected an approach from Brighton & Hove Albion for McAtee, who Liverpool, Ajax and Atletico Madrid are also courting. With interest in him mounting, City will be eager to tie the 19-year-old down to a new contract, although it will be interesting to see if Barcelona or Manchester United manage to swoop him away.