Manchester City and Liverpool are set to do battle once again, this time off the field, over Crystal Palace youngster Zion Atta.
The 15-year-old has attracted attention from England's top two sides as well as German giants Bayern Munich after turning in some great performances for the youth team in south London.
Palace signed Atta from Milwall two years ago, paying a guaranteed £60,000 to bring him to the club. They have incredibly high hopes for him, with the intention to have him follow in the footsteps of another club academy graduate in Wilfried Zaha.However, Liverpool and City have also recognised his talent and want to add him to their respective youth ranks, along with Bayern according to the Daily Mail.
His potential has been acknowledged at international level too. Despite being eligible for both Ivory Coast and Italy, Atta is currently involved in the England Under-16 setup and has trained with the Under-18's too despite his tender age.
Atta signed scholarship terms with the Eagles earlier this year and with new regulations due to come in about overseas youth signings due to Brexit, the value of having homegrown talent in your youth ranks is due to grow and top clubs will want to hog all the top talent for themselves.
Liverpool have already snapped up youngsters like Harvey Elliott from Premier League rivals Fulham in order to begin the process, while Manchester City pride themselves on having one of the best academies in the country in recent years.
City's Under-18's lifted the FA Youth Cup at the start of this month beating Chelsea 3-2 in the final thanks to a late goal from Cole Palmer, who has featured for the first team twice this season already.
While the thought of signing for a top club will surely appeal to Atta, Crystal Palace's past success with bringing through talent from the academy could go a long way to convincing him to stay. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Moses and Zaha are all examples of players who have come through the Selhurst Park academy and made their first-team debuts before the age of 21.
Source : 90min