Pep Guardiola’s first choice centre-back John Stones recent injury that ruled him out for weeks had Manchester City worried and it is believed that City will be looking for further additions at the back in January to provide insurance for the latter part of the season. Pep believes the squad is too thin to challenge for all four trophies and bringing in more talent is necessary to keep City competitive.

Such a situation has led to reports believing that Manchester City is chasing Athletic Bilbao centre-back, Aymeric Laporte. He has been an integral part of the Athletic Bilbao team ever since the days of Ernesto Valverde. He has made 30 appearances for the Spanish outfit this season and is a mainstay in their defence. The 23-year old has a €65 million release clause, an amount not large by any standards for Manchester City. Laporte has been a trusted defender in La Liga and having a player of his calibre and a Spanish league experience could be an ideal deal for a Pep Guardiola team.

The footballing climate at City is now booming. Pep has formed a team that is well on its way to conquer Europe should they keep up their current form. The Manchester City team is heavily loaded with attacking talents from all across the globe and under Pep’s careful tutelage the players have gelled well together to form a team that is producing nothing but swashbuckling score lines in their favour.

City has already scored 70 goals this season in a space of just six months in the league alone and is hungry for more. However, upon close inspection, it can be seen that there are still a few cracks in that City team Pep would like to identify.

With an ageing Kompany becoming more and more injury prone and Otamendi not really Pep’s favoured choice, the defence will need some work. As of now, he is stuck with the error-prone Argentine for now but knowing Pep’s pursuit of perfection and City’s healthy wallet, they would like to diagnose and treat the illness before it spreads.

Given City’s approach to problem-solving is to open their deep wallet, it won’t be surprising to see City go out for a new centre-back, a ball playing player who can partner Stones for years to come. It is in this light, that the report of City chasing Laporte could well prove to be the final piece of Pep’s Etihad jigsaw.

Diptanil used to be a columnist of The 4th Official. Knows German and not afraid to use it on you.