It is public knowledge that champions Manchester City are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements.
The Cityzens attempted to replace Anderlecht-bound Vincent Kompany in the summer, but they failed in their pursuit of Harry Maguire, who eventually joined Manchester United.
City’s failure to sign a replacement for Kompany has already proved costly as they have lost Aymeric Laporte and John Stones to injuries in quick successions. Stones’ problem is relatively short-term, four to five weeks, but Laporte has been ruled for a significant amount of time.
This has left City drastically short on centre-back options, and Guardiola has been forced to play Fernandinho with Nicholas Otamendi in the centre of his defence in the last couple of league games.
City’s defensive problems were very evident in their recent defeat to Norwich City. Following that upset, City have picked up back-to-back wins over Watford and Everton. However, they were far from convincing against the Toffees, who garnered seven shots on target in the game. Everton’s only goal in the 3-1 defeat also came because of a defensive lapse from the champions.
And it has been suggested that City would need to buy a new centre-back in January if they hope to compete with Liverpool for the league title. The champions are already five points behind the Reds, and considering the current form of Jurgen Klopp’s side, City can’t afford to drop any easy points anymore.
However, the City boss has insisted that the club won’t be buying any player in the winter transfer window. He also suggested that he intends to find internal solutions to deal with the ongoing situation. In a recent interview, he said: “That is not my business but in January we are not going to buy because we don’t have money to pay a huge amount in the summer so we cannot do it in winter.
“We are going to stick to the players we have, with [Taylor] Harwood-Bellis and Eric [Garcia] and with the new players in the academy. We have young, talented players and we can count on them.
“Vinny [Kompany] was an incredibly personality and he was incredibly helpful to me and the whole club, but he decided to go to Anderlecht and we have to move forward. That is what it is and so far, it has been perfect.”
Gary Neville thinks otherwise
However, Sky Sports pundit and Manchester United legend Gary Neville thinks that City need to spend in January if they hope to compete for the title. Despite Guardiola’s comments, Neville is confident that City would be splashing the cash, once the winter transfer window opens.
“You have to think that City will spend in January,” Neville told Sky Sports. “I saw this morning that Guardiola said they didn’t have any money. Well, they’ve got more than everybody else.
“They bought Aymeric Laporte in January a year and a half ago, and I feel that they’re going to have to do the same again.
“This won’t be good enough for the Champions League or the Premier League. Guardiola will know it – he knows the standard more than anybody.”
Currently, City have only one fit senior centre-back in Otamendi. During the midweek, Guardiola was forced to play youth players Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis in the League Cup win over Preston North-End.
Leicester City linked with move
Anyhow, Guardiola’s comments haven’t stopped the rumour mill from linking City with a move for Leicester City centre-back Caglar Soyuncu.
Reports in Turkey have claimed that City are eyeing a move for the Turkish international, who joined the Foxes from SC Freiburg in 2018.
The 23-year-old has made an impressive start to the new season in the Brendan Rodgers’ side and has attracted a lot of attention with his performances. He has become a regular in the Leicester’s starting line-up following Maguire’s departure in the summer.