Manchester City are preparing a club-record bid to sign defender Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan, according to European reports.
Pep Guardiola has found himself short of defensive options this season after the departure of Vincent Kompany last summer, with injuries forcing him to play Fernandinho – who signed a new contract on Tuesday – and Rodri out of position at times.
It is this lack of depth that has contributed to their struggle to keep pace with Liverpool in the Premier League title race and, according to El Desmarque, Guardiola wants to rectify that by making a record offer for a centre-back.
The player in question is Inter star Skriniar, who has excelled since making the move from Sampdoria to San Siro in 2017.
The Slovakian’s form has seen him linked with a number of European giants, with Real Madrid among the contenders for his signature.
But according to El Desmarque, former Barcelona boss Guardiola wants to steal a march on his old rivals by offering €95m for the 24-year-old, who is said to have a desire to play in the Premier League.
The chance to play in the Champions League could also be a factor in persuading Skriniar to leave Inter, as even though they are likely to qualify for the competition next season, they have already been knocked out of this year’s edition.
Real Madrid had wanted him as an alternative to Kalidou Koulibaly – who has reportedly decided to stay at Napoli until the end of the season – but they will have to match City’s offer if they want him.
El Desmarque do not specify whether the deal would go through in January or the summer, but their prediction leans towards the latter.
Skriniar’s agent, Mithat Halis, said in November that his client was leaning towards Madrid.
“Skriniar is worth €100 million” he said.
“Real Madrid and Barcelona have been competing for his signing for the last two years. Now Real Madrid are closer to reaching agreement with Inter Milan because they want and they need him much more than Barcelona.”
However, with Skriniar emerging at the top of City’s four-man shortlist, they may have to flex their financial muscles to win the race to sign him.