Arsenal could be about to get locked in a two-way tussle with Manchester City for highly-rated Charlton Athletic defender Joe Gomez.
The 17-year-old stopper has enjoyed a breakthrough season in the Championship with the Addicks, playing primarily as a full-back for the second-tier club.
A Charlton player since 2010, Gomez could go on to play at centre-half and after 16 impressive appearances this term, appears to have caught the eye of two major Premier League clubs.
The Daily Mail is reporting that both Arsenal and Manchester City are keen on recruiting the England under-19 international to their ranks this summer.
But Gomez will not come cheap, with the report also claiming that Charlton may hold out for as much as £8m.
A young player with a bright future, Gomez was part of the England squad that won the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship.
He then opted to stay and develop at Charlton, signing professional terms with the Addicks last year despite reported interest elsewhere.
Born in Catford, near Charlton, Gomez’s Londoner status could give Arsenal a distinct advantage over City in the race to land the highly-rated defender.
A move to the Emirates would allow the youngster to remain with his family while working under Arsene Wenger – a manager with a reputation for blooding in youth talent at Arsenal.
The alternative is an Etihad switch, with Manchester City likely to offer the player a bumper pay deal, but little in the way of assurances about first-team opportunities.
However, with the Sky Blues likely to undergo a major revamp, the acquisition of Gomez could signal a major shift in strategy, with City boasting several young stars chomping at the bit for a first team opportunity.
Then again, the Charlton man may opt to remain loyal to the Addicks and stay at the Valley for at least another season where he can develop while playing regularly in the Championship.
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