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Barcelona to sign defender shortlisted by Man City, City’s defensive target remains a mystery

Manchester City are in the market for a centre-back, but his identity is one of the great mysteries of a transfer window in which most of the targets have been quite public.

One possibility, Holger Badstuber, could become a VfB Stuttgart player as soon as today having passed a medical, and now a more likely candidate, Iñigo Martínez of Real Sociedad, is poised to join Barcelona.

Yesterday, Barcelona received a world record fee from PSG for Neymar and are wasting no time spending it, with €32million Martínez set to join the Catalan club ‘imminently’ and sign a five-year deal according to SPORT.

If City are going to sign a centre-back, it’s becoming even more unclear who it may be. In an exclusive report by The Times today, it is claimed that Chelsea are ready to launch a £50million bid for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, a player who Pep Guardiola is known to admire, but with most remaining funds committed to signing a world class striker, the word is that City want a cheaper defensive option.

An alternative is to keep Eliaquim Mangala, who is up for sale and recently snubbed a move to Spartak Moscow in Russia. Pep Guardiola is not thought to be a huge fan of the 26-year-old but has included him regularly in pre-season and may consider taking him off the market if no suitable defensive target appears.

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