Manchester City have reportedly offered Atletico Madrid €100m for the services of centre-back Jose Maria Gimenez, according to Spanish daily Marca.
However, it is believed that the La Liga side are holding out for the full value of Gimenez's release clause which is placed at €120m. Insiders in the Manchester City camp, nevertheless, claim that the club has only offered €50m plus bonuses for Gimenez.
Dependable Jose Gimenez could help strengthen Manchester City defence
Heading into this campaign, Pep Guardiola identified strengthening the Manchester City defence as a matter of high priority, and rightly so, as the Etihad outfit have looked out-of-sorts at the back.
The club made the rather surprising decision not to replace former captain Vincent Kompany after his departure to Anderlecht, and they paid dearly for it.
In his absence, neither John Stones nor Nicolas Otamendi were able to effectively partner Aymeric Laporte, with the situation further compounded by the long-term injury of the Frenchman.
Last season, Manchester City conceded 35 goals, which was more than they did so in any of their two previous title-winning camapigns.
The alarming decline in City's defensive performances saw Fernandinho deployed in the unfamiliar role of centre-back while youngster Eric Garcia was blooded much sooner than he would have expected. Only the return to full fitness of Laporte helped steady the ship.
The Manchester City manager would be keen to avoid a repeat scenario this season.
The Cityzens have already completed the purchase of Nathan Ake from relegated Bournemouth, but Guardiola would need one more centre-back as Manchester City begin their quest to wrest the Premier League title back from Liverpool.
This is where the arrival of Jose Maria Gimenez would help the club as he possesses all the traits required of a great defender, having spent the last seven years under the tutelage of Diego Simeone.
Even though he is still only 25, the Uruguay international is already hghly experienced and has partnered the iconic Diego Godin at both club and international level for six years.
He does not have the requisite technique that Guardiola demands from his defenders, but Gimenez would provide the composure and reliability that has been missing from the Manchester City defence.
Although it looks unlikely that Manchester City would trigger the high release clause of Gimenez given the current financial climate, it cannot be argued that if the club do go for him, they would become much stronger and would fancy their chances of dethroning Liverpool this season.Published 19 Sep 2020, 19:16 IST