Pep Guardiola set for hugely important transfer battle with Barcelona over 21-year-old midfield successor

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly set to go head-to-head with former club Barcelona over the signing of Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl.

According to Marca, the 21-year-old has emerged as the Catalan giants’ top target as they search for a long-term replacement for midfield stalwart Sergio Busquets.

It forms part of a bigger plan from the club to build for the future, with the likes of Neymar and Luis Suarez being handed new contracts, while the signings of Samuel Umtiti and Andre Gomes has lowered the average age of the squad and put in place key pieces for years to come.

Weigl will fit into that strategy too, but it’s added that Barca will face fierce competition from Guardiola who is also desperate to add the youngster to his squad in Manchester.

City certainly aren’t lacking the financial power to emerge as favourites for Weigl, while Guardiola has pinpointed him as the perfect long-term fit for his midfield as a replacement for Yaya Toure with both clubs seemingly now in the market to ensure that they can sustain their success.

It won’t be easy to prise the German ace away from Dortmund though, as Thomas Tuchel will be hopeful of keeping him for years to come and his young star is contracted to the club until 2021.

The former 1860 Munich youngster has made 22 appearances in all competitions so far this season and so is steadily growing into a pivotal part of Dortmund’s plans.

However, interest from both Guardiola and Barcelona will undoubtedly be appealing to him and so the Bundesliga outfit will have a tough time on their hands in fending off interest and keeping him in Germany for the foreseeable future.

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