There is no denying the fact that James McAtee is right among the best English talent pool of up-and-coming young players after emerging through the academy ranks at the Etihad Stadium into the first-team squad.
With 14 goals and four assists to his name in 17 Premier League 2 appearances since the start of the campaign, the 19-year-old’s sensational performances have garnered attention from a host of English clubs in recent months.
Add to that the fact that the Salford-born star made his Premier League debut against Everton off the bench in the current season, and the youngster’s stock is the highest it has ever been.
As a result, the speculation continues to grow about a list of clubs lining up to sign the prodigious midfielder, who is yet to commit his long-term future to the Premier League champions
According to the latest information of James Ducker of The Telegraph, the likes of Brighton, Leicester, Aston Villa and Southampton are understood to have given ‘varying consideration’ over signing McAtee on a permanent basis in January.
It has been further claimed that the Sky Blues are ‘unwilling’ to bid farewell to a young prospect that they have ‘high hopes’ for in the future, with McAtee touted to follow in the footsteps of fellow academy graduate Phil Foden, who is now a key member of the senior squad.
This update comes after a recent report that claimed that a series of elite European sides - such as Barcelona, Liverpool, Ajax and Manchester United - were interested in a permanent swoop for McAtee.
While a loan switch to the aforementioned Premier League clubs in the report could have ended up being a positive, considering their progressive styles of play, the chances of a permanent move seem out of the question.
Pep Guardiola tends to be very selective with the young players he hands first-team chances to, and the fact that McAtee has already made his Premier League debut for his boyhood club is testament to how highly Guardiola rates the youngster.
After Phil Foden’s incredible rise and Cole Palmer being a regular in the matchday squads, McAtee looks like the next in line to establish his presence as a first-team player in the east side of Manchester.
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