Sunderland manager Steve Bruce admitted today that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is keeping an eye on England new-boy Jordan Henderson.
Ferguson is impressed by Henderson's form for Sunderland this season and has asked Bruce, who played under the Scot at United, to be kept informed on his development.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence and could increase his price tag if he makes his England debut in Wednesday's friendly against France at Wembley after being handed his first call-up to Fabio Capello's squad.
"Only once has Fergie talked about one of my players, and that was [Antonio] Valencia, and he bought him!" Bruce told the News of the World newspaper.
"He had spoken to me about him when I was at Wigan. 'Keep me informed' were his words, then he signed him. He has said the same about Jordan, but to be fair they have all asked to be kept informed.
"What has caught most of their eyes is his ability to get up and down the pitch.
"You looked at Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Cesc Fabregas, they are all great players but they can get up and down the pitch to get the mileage, and you need that in the modern game.
"He has caught the eye because he is a very good player. If you are Chelsea, Manchester United, or Liverpool, there is a 20-year-old who is playing in the Premier League week in, week out. There are not many you can look at.
"He is a Sunderland player, and a Sunderland lad and we will do our utmost to keep him but we can never stop speculation."