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Man City target Southampton right-back as ‘more realistic’ alternative to Bellerin and Walker

Manchester City continue their search for full-backs, an area almost certain to be overhauled in the next transfer window. Right-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna, and left-back Gaël Clichy are all out of contract on June 30, while the only full-back with time remaining on his deal, Aleksandar Kolarov, is much more effective as a centre-back these days.

Guardiola could yet decide to offer Zabaleta or Sagna a new deal, but so far none of the six City stars out of contract this summer have put pen to paper, adding fuel to the rumours that a serious overhaul is on the way.

A host of right-backs have been linked, including Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerin and Tottenham’s England international Kyle Walker. Both would be big signings, but according to ESPN FC, City have their eyes on another Premier League right-back who could be easier to acquire.

Cédric Soares has been part of Southampton’s solid defence this season, a back line that has only conceded 36 goals. And the 25-year-old, who won Euro 2016 with Portugal a year ago, is reported to be high on Pep Guardiola’s wanted list.

The German-born player signed a new contract until 2020 last summer, and in addition to City has also been linked with Barcelona. While he’d command a significant fee, Southampton are usually more open to selling their best players than Arsenal or Spurs, making him a realistic alternative to targets such as Bellerin and Walker.

ESPN claim that Southampton are keen to hold on to Soares, who has made 20 appearances in the Premier League this season, but are bracing themselves for interest from the likes of City this summer.

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Make sure you grab one!

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