Man City have joined the race for a defender Man Utd have already been looking at and warned away from, according to a report.
City are currently a bit short of depth in the full-back areas. During the January transfer window, they sanctioned a loan exit for Joao Cancelo to Bayern Munich. It reduced them of an option on both the left and right-hand sides of their backline.
Cancelo was an influential player for City as recently as last season, but something changed in his relationship with Pep Guardiola. There is a chance that the Portugal international could have played his last game for the club.
Bayern won’t want to pay the full value of their option to buy Cancelo, but may explore other structures of the deal. Alternatively, the Portugal international will have suitors elsewhere.
Coincidentally, an update from 90min has claimed that City are looking at another Bayern man to replenish their depth in defence.
The website has revealed City are in contention for the signing of Benjamin Pavard from the Bundesliga champions.
Originally a centre-half, Pavard has become a right-back as his career has progressed, although he does still operate in either role.
His contract with Bayern is about to enter its final year, which has put him in an uncertain position. In the meantime, Man Utd have been linked with the France international as they too look to improve at right-back.
But new Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel recently shared his admiration of Pavard, effectively shutting off the Man Utd rumours.
Man City and Man Utd remain in race for Pavard with third suitor
Nevertheless, 90min has suggested that City could try their luck for the 27-year-old anyway, while their Manchester rivals United haven’t given up either.
In theory, Guardiola’s side might have a slight advantage because of their existing communications with Bayern about Cancelo.
On top of City and United, Pavard is said to be of interest to Real Madrid. The Spanish giants are ready to replace Dani Carvajal as their first-choice right-back.
Tuchel’s recent appointment may make it slightly harder for clubs to prise Pavard away from Bayern. But his contract situation remains the same, so it is only natural for his suitors to still look.
If City were to sign Pavard, they could use him as competition for Kyle Walker (who is approaching his 33rd birthday) at right-back. In theory, they could also use him at centre-back, although they have plenty of depth there already.
Still, his versatility – even if it is in a different manner to Cancelo’s – could come in useful to City.
United will be watching on too, of course, eager to not see their rivals snatch Pavard instead. But Erik ten Hag’s side have a few alternatives in mind too. Thus, City might be able to focus more closely on the 2018 World Cup winner.