After a decent start to the league campaign this year, Pep Guardiola will not be too happy, having missed out on a couple of his top transfer targets in the summer transfer window. The likes of Alexis Sanchez and Jonny Evans were high up the wish-list but neither managed to secure a move to the Etihad before the turn of the month.
However, with the window now shut, the manager wants to go back to some established stars to add to his squad in the next transfer window and one name now ringing around Etihad is Toby Alderweireld.
The Belgian centre-half is among the best, not just in England, but also in Europe and has been in impeccable form for Tottenham Hotspur for more than a year now. He is experienced and established but is reportedly unsettled in London, with his agent requesting the club to either improve his wages or allow a transfer.
The 28-year old currently earns just £50,000-a-week on a contract that runs out in 2019. Spurs have an option to extend it a further year that will trigger a £25m release clause but according to the Guardian, both Chelsea and Manchester City are interested in his signature this January.
If his contract situation is not sorted, Alderweireld may well be looking for an exit in the winter transfer window but is he an option for Manchester City?
The Citizens have a strong squad which is only weak in its defence. The likes of Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones and Eliaquim Mangala are all options to partner the skipper Vincent Kompany at the back. However, in the absence of the Belgian centre-back, City look a mediocre unit defensively and for a club that has spent over £200m on full-backs, it is a shame that the situation was not resolved in the summer.
Guardiola will know that his side will struggle later in the season, as the big guns in the Champions League and the relentless fixture schedule will demand the most out of his squad. It is almost imperative that they will go into a losing battle if they stick with the current defensive lineup.
The 28-year old Alderweireld is the perfect answer to these problems at the club. With close to 250 league appearances in three different top flight leagues across Europe, Alderweireld is the first choice CB for club and country at the moment and is tailor made for Guardiola’s style of play.
Teaming him up with his international team mate Kompany will instantly improve City’s backline and will also help the manager use a 3-man defensive system more effectively. Surely, Alderweireld is one player that City need to sign, even if it is in January if they are to lift the league title this year.