The departure of Vincent Kompany has been a massive blow for Manchester City this season. Despite his age, the Belgian international had played a pivotal role in the club’s success under Pep Guardiola. But most importantly, his return to Anderlecht has left City devoid of options in the central defensive slot.
Eliaquim Mangala has also left the club, moving to Valencia for a free transfer. Therefore, Manchester City must sign a new central defender in the upcoming January transfer window. And in this article, we will talk about three defenders the Sky Blues could target.
Regarded as one of the best defenders in world football, Koulibaly would be an excellent signing for Manchester City. The Senegalese international, groomed under current Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri, is a passing machine at the back and is capable of facilitating the backline with his impressive ball distribution.
At the same time, he is also known for his physical prowess and ability to anticipate potential counter-attacking opportunities for the opposition. These are qualities that could make him an ideal fit for Guardiola’s Juego de posicion style of play.
That being said, Koulibaly is by far the most expensive player on this list. Earlier this summer, Napoli had slapped a whopping €150 million price-tag on the defender. And Manchester City will likely have to pay over €100 million if they are to attain his services in January.
Inter Milan have one of the best central defensive pairings in Europe, thanks to the excellent partnership of Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij. However, it won’t be surprising to see Skriniar leaving the club in January – just three years after joining from Sampdoria.
The Slovakian international is among the best defenders in the Serie A, and his ball-playing qualities will surely enhance the overall quality of the Manchester City defence. The 24-year-old is also good at reading the game while his positional sense makes him an appealing target for the Citizens.
Skriniar’s current contract at San Siro expires in 2023. But, it remains unclear as to how much he could actually cost in the upcoming January transfer window.
RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano was hugely linked with a move to Arsenal this summer. However, the Gunners were fazed by his reported €90 million release clause, ending up signing David Luiz from Chelsea.
Upamecano hasn’t played a great deal of football within the past 12 months with RB Leipzig. But, his ability to augment the build-up with his passing and positional awareness has already made him one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga.
The ex-Salzburg centre-back has a physically imposing 1.85 frame and is also an indirect threat from set-pieces. But most importantly, at the age of 20, he is the youngest player on this list and should be a good long-term investment for Manchester City.