Manchester City are “contemplating” a bid for Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez, according to reports.
Gimenez has emerged as an alternative target to Kalidou Koulibaly for City. Negotiations with Napoli for the latter have been difficult, forcing City to turn their attention elsewhere.
Reports earlier this week claimed that City had launched a new bid for Gimenez, who has a €120m release clause. The reported bid was worth up to €94m.
However, South American football expert Tim Vickery has told Sky Sports that City may not have opened talks for the Uruguay international yet – but that doesn’t mean they won’t.
“I’ve heard that if Man City haven’t made a bid, they’re certainly contemplating one,” Vickery said. “It’s going to cost a lot of money with the Uruguayan press speculating it will be in the region of €80m to get this centre-back from Atletico to City but it’s an area of the team that really does need strengthening.
“Gimenez is one of the best young centre-backs around. He’s a baby-faced assassin. He’s only 25 but looks younger, but he’s already played in two World Cups. He’s as hard as nails and he can play as well.
“It would be a costly piece of business for Manchester City but it would be a very good one.”
Gimenez and Carlos the alternatives to Koulibaly
City have already strengthened their defence this summer by signing Nathan Ake from Bournemouth. However, they need a further reinforcement – hence their interest in Gimenez.
The 25-year-old saw his gametime decrease at Atletico last season, but Diego Simeone still wants him to stay.
Pep Guardiola is keen to lure him to Manchester, though – with the Guardian adding that both Gimenez and Sevilla’s Diego Carlos are the alternatives to Koulibaly.
The newspaper adds that City are unlikely to pay Gimenez’s full release clause if they do make a bid.