Premier League title favourites Manchester City are prepared to underline their credentials by launching a £30 million January move for Southampton left back Luke Shaw.
Despite being just 18 years of age, Shaw is already regarded as England's long-term successor to Ashley Cole following a series of outstanding top flight displays for the Saints.
According to The Mail on Sunday, City would break the world record fee for a fullback of £29.5 million set in 2008 when Barcelona bought Brazil's Dani Alves from Sevilla to land Shaw.
Manuel Pellegrini wants to storm a march on other suitors Chelsea and Manchester United by offering the money up front for Shaw in the winter window. Southampton have indicated that one of their prized assets is happy to stay at St Mary's until the summer, but may consider such a massive offer.
City already have Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov to choose from in their squad for the left back berth, but the club are prepared to let the latter leave and return to Italy. Shaw is one of a number of talented English players at the Saints that have flourished under Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Pellegrini has the quota of eight homegrown names in a Premier League squad to consider. Older players like Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott have been linked with leaving the Etihad, so will need replacing.