United, Arsenal and City take note: Petar Stojanovic's price-tag is rising

Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City may have to dig a little deeper in January if they want to lure Petar Stojanovic away from Maribor.

If reported suitors Manchester United, Arsenal, Southampton or Manchester City were hoping to get Petar Stojanovic on the cheap in January, they may need to start revising their plans and book another appointment with their bank manager.

Maribor are aware that interest in their highly-rated defender is rising ahead of the re-opening of the transfer window, and they intend to make the most of any deal that is done.

Maximising profit is now the name of the game, with a New Year bidding war set to be sparked once an opening offer is tabled.

The asking price for teenage full-back Stojanovic – who can also operate in midfield - was a little over £3 million up until a few weeks ago, when it emerged that Premier League scouts were flocking to Slovenia to catch a glimpse of a player being tipped for the very top.

That valuation has now rocketed, with Maribor preparing to line their pockets if they are forced to bid farewell to an exciting prospect nurtured through their academy system.

Director of sport Zlatko Zahovic told Ekipa24: “It is always nice to hear that famous clubs are looking at your player. That is always welcome. But at the moment it is hard to say something more concrete.

“Officially, nobody has made contact with us, so my message to all clubs who are looking at Stojanovic is: ‘Until now the fee was 4 million Euros, but now it's much higher’.”

In some ways, it is surprising that it has taken this long for Premier League vultures to descend on Maribor, with Stojanovic having made his debut back in 2012 as a 16-year-old.

It is, however, virtually impossible to keep such potential under wraps and it was only a matter of time before a rising star figured on the radar of Europe’s leading sides - especially once he started to grace the Champions League.

Stojanovic’s next port of call could now be the English top-flight, with it possible that he will be gracing Old Trafford, Emirates Stadium, St Mary’s or the Etihad Stadium in the not too distant future.

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