City tipped off over Tah deal chance

Last Updated: Sat, 08 Feb 2014 10:21

Manchester City are leading the chase for Hamburg centre back Jonathan Tah - a teenager who has been likened to Vincent Kompany.

City are in pole position to snatch the defender should Tah's father succeed with a legal challenge to the contract extension his son signed at Hamburg just over a year ago.

The 17-year-old defender is alleged to have signed a contract until 2018 which could be voided as it is longer than the maximum three years permitted for a minor under Fifa regulations.

The outcome of the legal challenge could see Hamburg, who are in a mess both on and off the field this season, be effectively forced to sell their prize asset - who is wanted by Chelsea as well as both Manchester clubs - for as little as £6million.

City are understood to have the advantage because their European scout Sebastien Arnesen, the son of former Hamburg sports director Frank, is very close to the situation and knows the Tah family.

Frank Arnesen left Hamburg after two years in the position last May and took a similar job at Metalist Kharkiv at the start of the month. He would have been in charge of contract negotiations at the time of Tah's controversial renewal last November.

Tah's father Aquilas said: "The contract is only in the interest of the HSV and the agent and not in the interest of my son. I should never have him signed with them. I will go to court.

"According to FIFA rules, the contract is invalid because it is more than three years. This is not allowed for a minor. I will make sure that [the agent] Adewunmi has nothing to do with my son."

The powerfully-built centre back has drawn comparisons to City skipper Kompany, who joined City from Hamburg in 2008, after breaking into the Bundesliga club's first team aged 16 and becoming a regular this season.

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