Manchester City look almost certain to sign a centre-back in January, with Pep Guardiola saying as much at his pre-Tottenham press conference earlier today. The big question is, who will it be?
Yesterday, Sam Lee of Goal reported that Southampton star Virgil van Dijk tops Pep’s wish-list, with Iñigo Martínez of Real Sociedad another strong candidate to reinforce the centre of defence.
Both men are also named as possible signings by Martin Blackburn of The Sun, another well-respected source for City news, but he also states that West Brom skipper Jonny Evans is still a strong candidate too.
Van Dijk is the most high-profile of the three having proven himself for several years at Southampton, but his high price-tag could put City off, with Blackburn reporting that the Blues will not be held to ransom by Premier League rivals, despite their wealth.
The Dutch international was valued at £70million in the summer, a price City were not willing to pay after his dream move to Liverpool collapsed. The Saints would have to lower that fee considerably for Guardiola to follow up on his interest.
Evans could be sold by West Brom in January as new boss Alan Pardew looks to raise funds to rebuild his Baggies squad. The 29-year-old came close to joining City in the summer, but there was a difference in valuation with West Brom demanding £30million and City offering closer to £18million.
With a release clause of around £29million, capped Spain defender Iñigo Martínez could come into the reckoning, with the player unlikely to have issues about rotating with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi – something the likes of Van Dijk may be less open to.
Martínez has never played outside of Spain however, so throwing him into the Premier League in the midst of winter could be considered a risk, something the club are reportedly wary of.
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