It’s been 14 years since Carlos Tevez moved across Manchester to make one of the most controversial signings in Premier League history – but this latest rumour could trump that.
Tevez, who swapped Old Trafford for the Etihad after a brief spell under Sir Alex Ferguson, made headlines as the now-iconic ‘Welcome to Manchester’ billboard was born.
It didn’t come as much of a shock to fans. After lifting the league title, he accused United of showing him a lack of respect before claiming he was “badly treated” in a tell-all interview.
But this latest story would certainly send shockwaves around world football.
A report fromFourFourTwohas emerged that suggests Manchester City are chasing one of the Premier League’s biggest prospects right now, and he happens to play for their local rivals.
Pep Guardiola’s side are keen on signing midfielder Kobbie Mainoo, who has been tipped for a huge future at Old Trafford.
At this stage, it’s ‘unclear’ how much City would have to pay to bring the the talented prospect to the Etihad, although Mainoo recently committed his future to the Reds by signing a four-year deal.
Mainoo did almost join the blue side of Manchester before joining United’s academy at the age of nine.
Ian Kelly, who coached a young Mainoo during his time at local club Failsworth Dynamos, watched on as he impressed against a Manchester City youth team.
“He went to United’s academy school at Under-8 level, obviously not signed on yet, while playing for Failsworth and you’d have to get him to pass again after playing there,” Kelly toldThe Manchester Evening News.
“His passing developed in the end and he was strong, small and stocky.”
From that moment onwards, Mainoo was on the radar of City’s scouts but he eventually opted to join United.
Back in July, Mainoo was handed his United debut against Charlton in the Carabao Cup.
Then, ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, the midfielder was one of United’s standout performers in pre-season, where he was handed a start in their clash against Real Madrid.
But in the opening stages at the NRG Stadium in Texas, the 18-year-old was escorted off the field after Brazilian forward Rodrygo landed on his leg following a tackle from Casemiro.
He returned to action last month when United U21’s came up against Salford in the EFL Cup.
Erik ten Hag recently confirmed that Mainoo was “close” to making a full return, and confirmed he is already training with the first-team squad.
“I think next week he will have some minutes in the team. So then he can catch up his game minutes,” he said on October 20. “He is really improving and ready to get back in the squad for games.”