Manchester City will go head-to-head with Barcelona in a battle to sign promising defender Alessandro Bastoni from Inter Milan, claim reports in Italy.
Bastoni showed his potential on loan at Parma last season, and has earned Antonio Conte’s trust upon his return to parent club Inter this campaign, making the same number of starts in Serie A as veteran Diego Godin.
According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, the 20-year-old Atalanta academy product has been scouted by Manchester City and Barcelona this season, as his stock continues to rise.
City have found themselves short of defensive options following Vincent Kompany’s departure in the summer, with Pep Guardiola having to use midfielders Rodri and Fernandinho further back as alternatives to Nicolas Otamendi when Aymeric Laporte and John Stones have been unavailable.
Stones himself has been linked with an exit from the Etihad Stadium, with former City assistant Mikel Arteta said to be interested in taking him to Arsenal – with Pep Guardiola refusing to comment on the speculation.
Therefore, City could enter the market for reinforcements, with Bastoni said to be one player they are keeping an eye on.
Barcelona are also monitoring Bastoni’s development, as they also arguably could do with some more depth at centre-back – especially if Samuel Umtiti leaves amid links with Manchester United.
However, Conte is reluctant to let the Italy Under-21 international leave San Siro – especially with the Nerazzurri involved in a genuine title race – and wants the club to tie him down to a new and improved contract.