Manchester City are once again without a natural left-back following news that Benjamin Mendy will be out for up to three months with another knee injury.
Luckily, Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko have proven very capable as converted left-backs, while Danilo and even Aymeric Laporte can also fill in, but the absence of a specialist for that role limits Pep Guardiola’s tactical options.
Mendy’s ongoing injury problems have raised questions about whether Guardiola will look to sign another left-back in the near future. That is a decision likely to be made in summer after the City manager ruled out any activity in the January transfer window.
From Italy today comes news that Guardiola is indeed looking at left-backs – and not just any old left-backs, but two of Europe’s finest.
Barcelona star Jordi Alba, 29, has revealed in the past day that he has yet to receive an offer to extend his contract beyond 2020, which he admitted he finds strange as he’d like to finish his career at the Camp Nou.
And according to Tuttosport, both Manchester City and Juventus are closely monitoring Alba’s situation at Barcelona and would like to incorporate him into their squads should there be an opening. With Alba out of contract in 2020, if Barcelona do decide not to extend his deal, then he could be signed for cheap – or even on a free transfer.
Juventus have their own left-back problem and City are also linked to that situation. Once again, they are named by Turin-based Tuttosport as an admirer of Brazilian international Alex Sandro, who is also out of contract in 2020, with no contract renewal signed yet.
The Old Lady are struggling to hold on to 27-year-old Alex Sandro, who has also been linked with City’s neighbours Manchester United, and he would be an enticing option for Pep Guardiola to strengthen the left-back role.
City have two natural right-backs in Kyle Walker and Danilo, but the question is with Mendy again going down with a long-term injury, will Guardiola decide to bring in a second specialist left-back in the summer? If he does, the word from Italy is that Jordi Alba and Alex Sandro would be high on Pep’s radar.