Manchester City eye centre-back signing in January with two players mentioned – report

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Manchester City will move in the January transfer market for a central-defender with Vincent Kompany publicly deemed unreliable by Pep Guardiola.

Various reports this morning suggest City have identified Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk and Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez the two names mentioned as potential recruits. Guardiola has convinced the City board to release the required funds to move for a defender in January, with Van Dijk his prefered option.

Southampton are believed to be demanding a fee beyond City’s valuation, which brings the deal into complexity. City were interested in signing Van Dijk in the summer before Southampton refused to lower their £70million valuation for the Dutch international.

City are also unsure how the 26-year-old would react to potentially be dropped for games – a regular occurrence of Guardiola’s teams. As a result, City face competition from Liverpool for his signature with the Merseysiders having agreed on personal terms with the player last summer.

The other option for City would be Spanish international Inigo Martinez, who has a release clause of £30million. At 26-years-old, Martinez has played the entirety of his career in La Liga which remains a worry for the City hierarchy who believe he may struggle to first adapt to the English game.

Nonetheless, his lower fee and ability to play as a left-back may see City opt for the Spanish international. Van Dijk remains the prefered option but who knows what may occur with weeks to go until the window opens once again.

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