Manchester City to stick with defensive options before summer bid for Atletico Madrid defender

Manchester City will not dip into the transfer market this month for a new centre-back, according to a report by Ian Herbert of the Independent.

Pep Guardiola sees a January signing as “for the sake of it” and plans to hold off signing a new defender until summer, when it is reported that City will make an approach for £20 million rated Atletico Madrid centre-half, Lucas Hernández.

The 20-year-old has been previously linked, with Atletico’s own CEO confirming last week that the Blues made an approach for Lucas Hernández and his younger brother Theo last summer.

Atleti held on to the two highly-rated Frenchmen, but Herbert reports that a fresh attempt to bring in Hernández will be made, which would give Guardiola the left-footed centre-back he hoped to sign in the form of Aymeric Laporte last summer. Aleks Kolarov has played that role for Guardiola, starting the season well before seeing his form drop.

City will also not be returning for Leonardo Bonucci, who they made advances for last summer, only for the Juventus stalwart to remain in Turin. Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk has been heavily linked lately, but that deal looks less likely after Guardiola recently claimed the club has no interest in him.

For now, Guardiola believes Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and Aleksandar Kolarov are sufficient options. Vincent Kompany is also edging closer to his latest return from injury, and can hopefully feature more in the second half of the season.

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