Pep Guardiola wants to make a record £200million January bid for Kylian Mbappe.
Manchester City’s move would beat the £198m fee Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona for Neymar in 2017 — and cost City £20m a year in wages.
Boss Guardiola believes the World Cup-winning forward, 19, can take the club to Champions League glory.
New Uefa rules mean the PSG star would not be cup-tied for the knockout stages of Europe’s biggest club tournament if he is signed this winter.
UEFA are also probing PSG’s finances as part of a Finanical Fair Play investigation.
However, City would have to sell at least one star to keep within FFP regulations themselves — with England striker Raheem Sterling the favourite to be sacrificed.
Sterling’s current contract expires next year and so far City have failed to agree a long-term deal.
Mbappe has also been linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona.
But City owner Sheikh Mansour knows he has to keep Guardiola — whose appointment was a coup for the club — happy.
Mbappe, who scored France’s last goal in their 4-2 World Cup final triumph over Croatia in the summer, initially joined PSG on a season-long loan deal from Monaco a year ago.
But in February the reigning French champions triggered their option to make him theirs in a £162m deal.
However, UEFA said on Monday that they were reopening their FFP probe on the Qatari-backed French giants.
UEFA cleared PSG of breaking rules in June but in July said that decision would be reviewed.
The case is now handed back to the Club Financial Control Body for further investigation.