Manchester City preparing for defensive signings despite Pep Guardiola ruling out January reinforcements
- Manchester City's current defensive crisis is evident and they have a few targets on their radar as the January transfer window beckons.
Manchester City are currently on the lookout for defensive signings, despite the fact that Pep Guardiola has ruled out making any reinforcements next month, the Telegraph reports. The City manager had previously stated that because the players of his choice would not be available once the transfer window opens in January, he was prepared to keep faith in his current squad for the rest of the season.
However, it now appears that the reigning Premier League champions have identified potential defensive targets and will be keeping tabs on them from now until the end of the season. Should any of them become available in January, City are prepared to try and forge a deal. Quite are few stellar names are doing the rounds, but the Citizens might need quite a bit of luck to get them to Etihad by the end of next month.
Who can City sign next month?
Nathan Ake, the Bournemouth defender, interests City, but the club is aware that the player is most likely to rejoin Chelsea, thanks to a clause in his contract that allows the Dutch footballer to return to Stamford Bridge for £40 million.
Kalidou Koulibaly has reportedly run out of patience at Napoli and is looking for a route away from the club. However, the 28-year-old is being monitored by Manchester United and the Red Devils could steal a march on their rivals in the winter transfer window.
City do have Pau Torres of Villarreal and Ruben Dias of Benfica on their radar and at just 22, both players are among the most promising defenders in Europe at the moment. Benfica have dropped down to the Europa League after failing to get past the group stages in the UEFA Champions League, so Dias could suit City. Torres, on the other hand, has not featured in Europe with Villarreal this season, so the reigning Premier League champions could be enticed by the Spaniard as well.
Guardiola has, however, publicly put his trust in his current squad and will be eagerly waiting for Aymeric Laporte to return from injury. The Frenchman’s absence, coupled with the departure of Vincent Kompany, has hurt the Citizens dearly this season, as they have managed just 1 clean sheet in all competitions in the last 13 games.
City are currently 11 points behind Liverpool, and the Reds even have a game in hand. Guardiola has also been handed a tough round of 16 tie in the UEFA Champions League against Real Madrid. As such, the Spaniard might be open to making defensive reinforcements in the winter window in order to get his season back in track. A good bit of business in January could see his defensive issues sorted and Guardiola could then mount a challenge for silverware in the second half of the season.Published 25 Dec 2019, 22:20 IST