CHELSEA and Manchester City are battling to sign Sunderland teen Bali Mumba.
Spies from both clubs saw the midfielder, 17, dazzle in the FA Youth Cup at Halifax on Wednesday.
Mumba has played in the Black Cats first team this season when his skill and hard running marked him out as a future star.
He has signed a pro deal but that is not stopping the vultures from circling.
Sunderland could cash in and use the money to boost their promotion bid, with money tight ahead of January.
Mumba is happy at the club but the contracts on offer for teenagers at both City and Chelsea may be hard to resist.
Liverpool and Arsenal have already picked up some of Sunderland’s discoveries and Mumba is next on the production line.
Sheffield United are looking at Sunderland skipper George Honeyman as they chase promotion.
Boss Chris Wilder does not want to be caught short like last season and is pleading to his board for cash to spend in January.
The versatile Honeyman fits the bill and the Blades could afford his wages.
Honeyman is helping the Black Cats’ bid to return to the second tier at the first attempt.