Nottingham Forest were keen on signing Manchester City maestro James McAtee during the summer. Now, it seems as though Manchester United are keen on stealing the youngster from the Citizens.

According to The Sun, the Red Devils and Liverpool are monitoring the player who is yet to commit his future to the club.

McAtee is in ridiculous form. He has 15 goals in 13 games for the under-23 outfit this season; scoring his third hat-trick of the season against Club Brugge in the UEFA Youth League yesterday.

Manchester City v Club Brugge KV - UEFA Youth League
McAtee was linked to Forest; Photo; Matt McNulty; Manchester City; Manchester City FC; Getty Images)

The 19-year-old made his debut for the first time in September, stepping off the bench as City thrashed Wycombe 6-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

McAtee typically operates as an advanced midfielder. He can also play in the middle of the park and isn’t averse to operating at left-back either.

That versatility tempted Forest, along with several other Championship clubs, into a cheeky loan bid during the summer. Pep Guardiola stood firm though and felt the youngster would benefit from being around the first team.

Clearly, he’s thriving. Phil Foden was a player who didn’t go out on loan and now he’s deemed as one of the most exciting talents in world football.

His latest hat-trick and the reported interest from United and Liverpool means that Forest will have to turn their attentions firmly elsewhere.

Talent: McAtee one that got away for Forest

Although it was a long shot it’s perhaps a good thing that people behind the scenes at Forest were looking at someone like McAtee.

In a tough market post-pandemic, Forest were always likely to be relying on loans and as a result, that may still be the case come January.

Manchester City v Club Brugge KV - UEFA Youth League
Forest target McAtee in action; Photo; Matt McNulty; Manchester City; Manchester City FC; Getty Images)

Although McAtee’s availability now looks non-existent, nabbing some talented youngsters from Premier League clubs looks like a decent strategy.

Cooper knows all about nurturing young talent. At Swansea, he developed several top players including Conor Gallagher, Marc Guehi and Rhain Brewster.

McAtee won’t be on his radar in January but a youngster or two akin to the City man wouldn’t go amiss at the City Ground.

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