Sky Sports News understands Manchester City have bid for Middlesbrough and England Under 21 star Adam Johnson.
City suffered heartbreak in the Carling Cup semi-finals on Wednesday evening as they lost on aggregate to Manchester United in second-leg injury-time, but they are already reported to be looking to the future.
Johnson has been a star at Boro in a disappointing campaign for the Championship side and has been linked with Chelsea among a number of other top-flight clubs as his current contract at The Riverside expires in the summer.
The 22-year-old's creativity from wide areas is a sought-after commodity and it is understood that City boss Roberto Mancini is keen to add the option to his squad.
Money is not an issue at Eastlands and so City will have a financial edge over most competitors, although the value of the bid that is said to have been submitted to Middlesbrough has not yet been revealed.
Boro manager Gordon Strachan would not be drawn on the future of Johnson after Tuesday's win at Doncaster, where the winger scored twice and assisted one goal in a 4-1 victory.