Man City draw up four-man shortlist to find long-term Laporte partner
Pep Guardiola has drawn up a four-man shortlist of central defenders as he looks to find a long-term partner for Aymeric Laporte at Man City, according to a report.
The Citizens’ stuttering title defense has been characterised by a leakiness at the back, with the club conceding more than a goal per game in the league thus far.
The return of superstar centre-half Aymeric Laporte will ease the burden on City’s goals cnceded column, but if Guardiola’s men are to challenge Liverpool next season, a permanent partner for the Spaniard will need to be found.
John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have struggled in Laporte’s absence, with holding midfielder Fernandinho often deputising at the heart of defence.
That has led to Guardiola crafting a wish-list of four potential signings according to British newspaper The Times.
The publication reveal (via the Daily Express) that Man City will look to sign two of the players, with Pau Torres, Ruben Dias, Milan Skriniar and Lewis Dunk all touted as possible arrivals.
Villareal’s Torres is the man reportedly set to be given the highest priority, with the article stating that the man who was once a target for Arsenal would be ‘ideal player to fill Kompany’s boots.’
The 23-year-old has progressed through the youth ranks at Villareal and was rewarded with his maiden Spain cap in 2019 in which he notched the third goal in a 7-0 thrashing over Malta.
With a keen eye for a pass and composure on the ball a key requirement for any Guardiola player, the Express note that Torres would be a perfect fit after his passing range in particular ‘caught the eye’.
Benfica’s Dias, Inter Milan’s Skriniar and Brighton’s Dunk are also mentioned as potential options to bolster the depth in the defensive ranks.
Should two of the aforementioned quartet arrive, it could spell the end of their City career for one or both of Stones and Otamendi.
The Argentine in particular could be at risk, with the report revealing Otamendi has already been told he can leave in the summer.
Meanwhile, pundit Rio Ferdinand mentioned five names when discussing who could win the player of the year award, but only one City star made the ex-Utd man’s shortlist.