Nanchester United and City will battle it out over Jordan Henderson of Sunderland - News - MirrorFootball.co.uk
Manchester's big two are ready for a transfer battle over Sunderland's future England star Jordan Henderson - and spark a £15 million-plus auction.
United chief Sir Alex Ferguson and sidekick Mike Phelan went to watch the under-21 international midfielder after being tipped off that City have made an official inquiry.
And now Fergie and moneybags City are poised for a transfer window duel over the youngster who is rated the most exciting home-grown prospect in his position.
City have already told Sunderland that they want Henderson although the two clubs are apart on their valuations. However the mega-rich outfit are prepared to go in for him.
Sunderland want a massive fee, but United have a chance in the race - despite City having more funds - because Ferguson has players to throw into a swap deal.
Ferguson has already given his old pal Danny Welbeck on loan and that could become permanent and even fallen star Michael Carrick could be used as a makeweight.
The shrewd United chief took former midfielder Phelan with him on his scouting mission to cast his expert eye over Henderson. Fergie knows that he has to improve that area of his side.
United tried but failed for Inter Milan's Dutch master Wesley Sneijder in the summer as they look for Paul Scholes's successor and Henderson has emerged this season as a potential fit for that major job.
Ferguson will have money to spend on the right targets in January as the Glazers are aware of his concerns about replacing ageing stars - and the Americans would be keen on a young Englishman with re-sale value.
City could outbid United for Henderson but top insiders claim they have a valuation on him and will not go higher, but that can change if it comes to a head-to-head battle with their nearest rivals.
Personally I think it's bollocks and can't see us selling him in the near future or him being willing to leave first team football at his hometown club to sit on a bench somewhere when Bruce has already said he can have as many contract extensions as he wants and is already getting England recognition but saying that I do think getting Welbeck permanently plus an immediate, experienced replacement in Carrick with possibly extra cash thrown in to strengthen elsewhere and with Meyler still to return would make that quite a good deal.
I still think it's bollocks though and hope we keep him.