Monday 20 January 2020

Man City draw up four-man shortlist as Pep Guardiola considers January reinforcements

Pep Guardiola has been in charge at Manchester City since 2016 (Martin Rickett/PA)
Pep Guardiola has been in charge at Manchester City since 2016 (Martin Rickett/PA) Newsdesk Newsdesk

Man City are monitoring a number of top defenders ahead of the January transfer window, as Pep Guardiola considers adding to his squad in an attempt to boost his side's ailing title challenge.

After winning back-to-back Premier League crowns, Man City have slipped off the pace this season, currently trailing Liverpool by 11 points, while Jurgen Klopp's men also have a game in hand.

Guardiola's side have been particularly suspect defensively, with the loss of club stalwart Vincent Kompany - who left the club last summer - proving a tough blow.

As well as Kompany's departure, the injury to key defender Aymeric Laporte, who has been ruled out since August with a knee injury, has also contributed to Man City's dip in form.

With the January transfer window just one week away, The Telegraph is reporting that Man City have identified four top defenders as possible targets.

The two leading contenders to join Guardiola's group are Benfica's Ruben Dias and Villarreal's Pau Torres, both of whom are 22. The other candidates are Bournemouth's Nathan Ake (24) and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (28). However, City believe that Ake is likely to rejoin Chelsea while Koulibaly is a top target for Man United.

The benefit to Man City in signing Torres over the other three is that he hasn't played European football this season, so could feature in the Champions League.

Man City drew 13-time champions Real Madrid in the last 16, with the first leg to take place in the Bernabeu in February.

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