Pep Guardiola wants to raid Bayern Munich and be reunited with Thiago Alcantara for a second time.
The Manchester City boss is a huge fan of the Spain international, who is seen as a long-term option to replace Fernandinho as a holding midfielder.
Guardiola took over as Bayern boss in 2013, and quickly signed Thiago from Barcelona for £21million.
City will have to smash the club record £60m they splashed out last summer on Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez to have any chance of landing 27-year-old.
Bringing in an influential midfielder is a summer priority for manager Guardiola.
In the past year he has failed in bids for Jorginho, who chose to follow his Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea, and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred, snapped up by neighbours Manachester United, and also seen Frenkie de Jong agree an end-of-season move from Ajax to Barcelona for next season.
Guardiola also admires Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez, and has been encouraged by his fellow Spaniard recently switching agents.
But the problem is that Saul is only two years into a staggering nine-year contract.
Meanwhile Thiago would jump at the opportunity to play under Guardiola again, giving City hope in the chase for a top midfielder.
They are also expected to be in touch with new Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers over their England left-back Ben Chilwell.
“There are three or four positions to look for,” said Guardiola on Friday about his summer transfer plans. “We have some ideas, but it’s an option to buy one [a left-back]. Today, Mendy’s not fit. It’s not about English football, he’s injured for two seasons. I’m concerned, because it can happen. He’s working but, in truth, we could use him in a few games.
“At the end, the strongest guys are there. That’s why we are looking at next season. A holding midfielder we will try for, and one more position, although I’m not going to tell you which positions or players.”