Sadio Mane
Manchester City wants to battle Manchester United for the signature of Southampton ace Sadio Mane in the summer transfer window. Reuters/Matthew Childs

Two English Premier League giants are ready to go head-to-head for the signature of Southampton ace Sadio Mane.

Manchester City is planning to battle Manchester United for Mane, who is set for a summer transfer to Old Trafford. According to Mike McGrath of The Sun, City football director Txiki Begiristain wants to keep an eye on Mane as he reckons the Southampton striker is the type of player incoming boss Pep Guardiola wants once he takes control of Etihad Stadium in the summer.

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The 23-year-old striker has reportedly been eyeing a big move to the Premier League’s big clubs like Man United, Man City, or Chelsea. Mane, whom United boss Louis Van Gaal attempted to sign last summer, wants £125,000-a-week (AU£256,063) wages and a long-term deal when he finally leaves St Mary’s.

“Guardiola likes versatile players and Mane has played as a winger, striker and No 10 for Saints,” McGrath wrote. “The Spaniard is expected to add pace to the City team as his glittering success at Bayern Munich was based on having the likes of Arjen Robben on the flanks.”

Guardiola, current manager of Bundesliga club Bayern Munich, is set to replace Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini in the summer. Part of Guardiola’s move as Sky Blues' new boss is a £150 million (AU£307.2 million) overhaul of the club, and now includes Mane among the stars targeted by the Spaniard.

Meanwhile, rumours of Van Gaal getting replaced in the summer by Jose Mourinho continues to buzz around Old Trafford. According to Miguel Delaney of the Independent, Mourinho is “confident” he will be United’s next manager by the start of the next season, although there is no imminent deal to sign him yet.

“Louis van Gaal is widely expected to leave in the summer after an underwhelming second season, and Mourinho’s representatives believe the club is ready to hand the job to their client after recent discussions – though no deal is yet fully done,” Delaney noted.