Manchester City monitoring Birmingham starlet Brown

Manuel Pellegrini's side could make a move to sign the highly rated 17-year-old midfielder as they continue to look to the future ahead of the opening of the £100m Etihad Campus
By Paul Clennam

Manchester City are keen on striking a deal for Birmingham City's highly rated teenage midfielder, Reece Brown, Goal understands. 

The 17-year-old signed pro forms with the Midlands club at the end of January and is already part of the first-team set-up at St Andrews, having featured in four Championship games this season. 

Brown has represented England at youth level and has been watched on a few occasions by City's Elite Development Squad manager, Patrick Vieira.

9/1 Manchester City are 9/1 with Bet365 to beat Chelsea 2-0
The two clubs are in the process of developing closer ties, with City having sent promising youngsters Albert Rusnak and Emyr Huws on loan to Birmingham during the January transfer window.

City's interest in Brown is part of a clear recruitment drive to prepare for the future, with Nigeria Under-17s stars Musa Yahaya, Kelechi Iheanacho and Chidi Nwakali all set to join the club in the coming months.

Goal understands that Manuel Pellegrini's side also beat off interest from Manchester United and Barcelona to secure a deal for 20-year-old Argentine midfielder Bruno Zuculini, while 21-year-old Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno is also being closely monitored.

The move to secure some of the world's most talented young players coincides with the development of the club's new state-of-the-art Etihad Campus, which is due to open in the summer at a cost of around £100 million.

City failed to make any new signings during the January window although Goal understands that the club have agreed a deal to bring Porto midfielder Fernando to the Etihad Stadium in the summer.