Manchester City line up big-money double move to solve defensive woes

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Manchester City will look to replace ageing stalwarts Vicent Kompany and Yaya Toure with Virgil van Dijk and William Carvalho as Pep Guardiola attempts to add freshness to the spine of his team, according to reports.

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Conscious that the experienced duo are nearing the end of their time at the Etihad, the Catalan manager has already set about drawing up a list of potential targets, with Southampton’s van Dijk and Sporting Lisbon’s Carvalho thought to be his favoured options.

Another injury to the increasingly absent club captain Kompany has led to a shortage of numbers in the centre of defence approaching the busy festive period.

And the Daily Mail claims that after having scouted Dutchman van Dijk extensively in recent months and being suitability impressed with his dominant displays, the Citizens are preparing a bid to rival Liverpool and Everton for his signature.

The commanding ex-Celtic man had seemed destined to join Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in a deal worth around £30 million, but City’s expected intervention could complicate matters for the Anfield club.

With Toure set for the exit door, Sporting defensive midfielder Carvalho is also believed to be a target, although the paper writes that he is deemed less of a priority as Guardiola privileges defensive additions.

24-year-old Carvalho was a prominent part of the Portugal team that won the European Championship last summer, and has a buy-out clause of £42 million.

He is being considered alongside Borussia Dortmund’s talented youngster Julian Weigl to replace the Ivorian, however, Sporting are notoriously tough negotiators and are currently demanding the full £42 million fee in order to do a deal.

Third-place City face Premier League leaders Chelsea on Saturday, aiming to return to the top of the table against their title rivals.


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