Manchester City have joined the battle for Valencia fullback Jordi Alba. The Sunday Mirror says the 22-year-old, who has ­established himself as one of the hottest properties in La Liga, after being released by Barcelona because he was deemed too small, has been monitored by City scouts this season.

Manchester United have also been linked with Alba, with manager Sir Alex Ferguson in the market for a long-term replacement for Patrice Evra.

But United lost out to City when Valencia decided to cash in on David Silva in the summer of 2010.

And if Valencia can be ­tempted to sell the latest young talent to emerge at the Mestalla then the Blues' ­financial power will give them the edge over their Mancunian rivals.