Manchester City are in contact with Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti.
L’Equipe says City have moved ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign him after holding a face-to-face meeting.
Umtiti has been heavily linked with a move away from Barcelona this month, with Manchester United and Manchester City said to be interested in the Frenchman.
The Manchester clubs have both been tipped to trigger his £53m release clause at the Nou Camp as they look to bolster their defences.
Both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have suffered injuries in the heart of defence this season – and a new centre-half signing in January is now on the agenda.