Asmir Begović is wanted by both Manchester clubs

Manchester City are set to battle it out with title rivals Manchester United for the signing of Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begović as the Premier League champions look to bring in real competition for No1 Joe Hart.

The 25-year-old Bosnian international has been in scintillating form for the Potters this season, attracting interest from a host of rival Premier League clubs.

Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-term admirer of Begović, and believes he is the right man to take over from under-fire first-team stopper David De Gea at Old Trafford.

However, Manchester United will now face competition for his signature, with Roberto Mancini keen to bring the former Portsmouth star – who moved to the Britannia Stadium for 3million GBP in 2010 – to the Etihad, in a bid to keep Joe Hart on his toes.

Tony Pulis will be determined to keep Begović beyond January, but may be forced to concede defeat, and sell the in-demand goalkeeper at the end of 2012/13.

Earlier this month, the Daily Telegraph valued the Stoke star at around 12million GBP, with reports saying that Begović was the most wanted goalkeeper in the country.

Chelsea offered 4million GBP to take the player to Stamford Bridge, just six months after he signed for the Potters, but Pulis was quick to reject the Blues’ offer, and reassure Begović that he remained a big part of his first-team plans.

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