Three Centre-Halves Who Manchester City Can Target This Summer
Despite having a blistering start to the 2016-17 Premier League Campaign, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola only managed a 3rd placed league finish and a dismal UEFA Champions League campaign during his debut season in English football. A star-studded City squad lacked consistency as few of their high profile names had a disappointing outing for the Citizens. Guardiola has trimmed his squad ruthlessly prior to the upcoming campaign and has already brought in new resources in the form of Ederson Moraes and Bernardo Silva.
He is looking to reconstruct his backline and is already in advanced talks with Juventus right-back Dani Alves. He is also interested in Spurs fullback Kyle Walker, Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand and Monaco sensation Benjamin Mendy. However, the former Barcelona gaffer is not content with his centre back options as well, due to Vincent Kompany’s injury concerns, Nicolas Otamendi’s inconsistency and £47.5m signing John Stones’ struggles to settle in.
A few names (including Southampton ace Virgil Van Dijk) have been linked in recent weeks. However, we have scouted three defensive resources who can strengthen them further in the title chase.
Current Club: PSG
The Brazil international is one of the highly rated centre backs in Europe who is known for his attacking intent, ball playing ability and great intercepting skills. He has been a regular for the French heavyweights Paris St-Germain since his £27m move from AS Roma back in July 2013. Marquinhos played a pivotal role for Brazil U23s who won the prestigious Olympics gold medal last year.
He is also capable of playing as a right back and his versatility is a key trait that can bring flexibility in City’s deep defence. The PSG star is someone who would be affordable considering City’s financial supremacy, and Guardiola should consider signing him.
Country: France Age: 23
Current Club: Athletic Bilbao
The France youth international has been a regular for Bilbao since 2012 and flourished under former boss Ernesto Valverde. Despite interests from several European big guns, the Spanish outfit managed to retain their prized assest for seasons. But the departure of Valverde, who has been appointed as new Barcelona boss, might see the centre-back move elsewhere for greater glory. The left-footed defender is regarded for his aerial and physical presence, blocking, tackling and his approach on the ball from deeper areas. Laporte suits Pep’s style of football and the Spaniard can explore the option of bringing him in.
Current Club: AS Roma
Rudiger’s €9million move to AS Roma from Bundesliga outfit VfB Stuttgart a couple of years back, has been one of the most stunning deals completed by the Serie A outfit in recent years. The German international, predominantly a centre-back, has also performed efficiently in both the fullback roles, as well as in a three back formation. He is strong, holds the ball well and has great sense of passing. Roma will ask for a hefty fee for their top-notch prodigy but City should go all out to acquire his services.