Manchester City want to sign a new left-sided centre-back in the summer and have reportedly shortlisted four players for the role.
Pep Guardiola has been bereft of options in the heart of defence at times this season, first caused by the departure of captain Vincent Kompany and then a serious knee injury to key man Aymeric Laporte.
John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have had injury issues of their own this campaign, leaving Guardiola to use 18-year-old Eric Garcia and holding midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri at the heart of City’s defence over the last couple of months.
As a result, City chiefs are keen to recruit a high-quality player to strengthen Guardiola’s defence, with a preference for left-sided centre-halves.
According to a report by The Athletic, City have five names they are considering.
Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar is one of them, having impressed at San Siro since moving from Sampdoria in 2017, although he would cost more than the club-record £62.8million City paid for Rodri in the summer.
Another European candidate is Shakhtar Donetsk star Mykola Matviyenko, who City were able to watch closely when they played the Ukrainian outfit home and away in the Champions League group stage this campaign.
The 23-year-old Ukraine international is a more affordable option with 18 months remaining on his Metalist deal.
Two Premier League stars on their radar are Nathan Ake and Caglar Soyuncu.
Ake has impressed at Bournemouth since moving permanently from Chelsea in 2017, although the Blues are known to have first dibs on the Dutchman with a £40m buy-back option which expires this month.
Soyuncu has been outstanding for high-flying Leicester since he became Harry Maguire’s permanent replacement, although Ake and Soyuncu are tied to their clubs until 2022 and 2023 respectively.
But despite the Premier League champions’ pressing need for better reinforcements in defence they are expected to wait until the summer to conduct their business.