CELTIC are battling Man City for £2.5m Ecuador wonderkid Jose Cifuentes. Hoops boss Neil Lennon is looking to strengthen the midfield area — and 20-year-old Ecuadorian Cifuentes is on his radar. But Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola also wants to bring the South American to the Etihad, before loaning him to Girona. Powerful midfielder Cifuentes was the star of Ecuador’s Under-20 side at the recent World Cup. He plays for America de Quito in his homeland but is also being tracked by clubs in Germany and Italy. Celtic hope the chance of trophies and Champions League football can attract him to Parkhead. City are also admirers and have a plan for Cifuentes that would see him farmed out to La Liga side Girona. The English champs would be unable to get a work permit immediately so would plan to send him on loan to Spain for a year. After he gets his first senior cap, they would then bring him into Guardiola’s squad. But permit laws are different in Scotland and Celtic should be able to register him immediately. The Hoops hope that gives them the upper hand as they chase a bargain £2.5m deal for the midfielder.