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Southampton's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Everton at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on November 27, 2016. / AFP / Glyn KIRK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

3 Long Term Defensive Options For Manchester City To Target After Missing Out On A Rare Short Term Deal

Manchester City seems to have suffered a new setback regarding their pursuit of Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber. The Sky Blues who have struggled at the back this season, like they have done for quite a few seasons now, had initially decided to wait till summer to make any constructive addition to the side.

They had failed in their pursuit of Aymeric Laporte and Bonucci in the summer. Two highly rated centre-backs who were expected to come in and forge a long -term partnership at the club. But with both the deals going out of hand, they had to settle for £47m John Stones as their only defensive addition.

But after struggling in the first part of the season, it seemed that Pep Guardiola wanted to grasp the opportunity to sign his former player Holger Badstuber who was in the market as a potential loan prospect. But with the German moving to Schalke, City have to look elsewhere.

It is unlikely they will be finding such a convenient deal in January and might have to splash the cash to get their backline sorted.

Let us take a look at three alternatives Pep Guardiola might opt for in the long run-

VIRGIL VAN DIJK (SOUTHAMPTON)

Any move for the Southampton star has to be long-term and will be extremely costly. The Dutchman has been impressive this season and although he is currently serving a ban for a red card, till that moment of indiscretion he has looked worthy of a defender in a team like City.

He is on the wishlist of a number of Premier League clubs such as Chelsea, Everton and Manchester United and City will have to show some serious intent to get this deal done.

AYMERIC LAPORTE (ATLETIC BILBAO)

The young Frenchman seemed almost certain for a move to Manchester City before he apparently agreed to a contract extension with Bilbao pouring cold water over City’s grand plans with him.

But even an apparent £55m release clause in his contract, Pep Guardiola does not seem to have given up the hope to sign the exciting prospect and the Sky Blues are likely to revisit that option again in the summer.

MICHAEL KEANE (BURNLEY)

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Michael Keane of Burnley heads the ball during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester City at Turf Moor on November 26, 2016 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

BURNLEY, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 26: Michael Keane of Burnley heads the ball during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester City at Turf Moor on November 26, 2016 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

A slightly unconventional option given the pressure on the likes of City to win trophies every season but an option they have seemingly looked into in the past.

Keane is a budding and exciting prospect but hasn’t shown enough to suggest he can slot into the big sides immediately. He will be a long term prospect and City needs to decide whether they have that luxury with John Stones taking the time to settle as well.

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  • Hoffenheim's forward Mark Uth and Dortmund's Spanish defender Marc Bartra vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match between TSG Hoffenheim and BVB Borussia Dortmund at the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Sinsheim, southern Germany, on December 16, 2016. / AFP / Amelie QUERFURTH / RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO. == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050
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