Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is stepping up the chase to sign at least one centre-back this summer. Liverpool sealed the title this week so now the focus for Guardiola is to rebuild for next season. According to Paul Joyce of The Times, City are monitoring three options to replace the omnipresent former captain Vincent Kompany. Kalidou Koulibaly, Ruben Dias, and Pau Torres are all attracting interest from the Citizens.
Manchester City Centre-Back Chase Heats Up
Replacing Vincent Kompany
When Vincent Kompany left Manchester City for Anderlecht last summer, Guardiola was hesitant to replace him. Harry Maguire was available, but he joined rivals Manchester United. The Citizens did not sign a centre-back and paid the price. Aymeric Laporte sustained a serious injury that kept him out for six months. Their defensive options were depleted with Fernandinho often dropping back.
Manchester City fill must these holes in the squad. The physical prowess of Koulibaly would give them the reassurance at the back. While his physical attributes are commendable, the Senegalese is more than comfortable on the ball. Koulibaly’s talents on the ball perfectly align with Guardiola’s football philosophy.
Ruben Dias is a defender with a growing reputation. Manchester United expressed an interest in the Benfica man under Jose Mourinho and now their rivals are interested. The 23-year-old is more of a ball-player than Koulibaly and his younger age may entice Manchester City more than the Napoli player. Naturally, Dias’ passing range sees comparison to John Stones, therefore, this deal could see Stones sweat over his long term future.
Pau Torres is another young defender attracting interest from City. The Villarreal star has reportedly been learning English in his spare time ahead of a move to the Premier League. The Spaniard made his international debut in November 2019 after impressing in La Liga. Guardiola reportedly has a strong interest in Torres, however, he is likely the bottom of the shopping list.
Reclaiming the Title
Koulibaly and Dias are players with bigger reputations and are more tried and tested than Torres. Manchester City need a ‘tried and tested’ defender to challenge Liverpool next season. The loss of a character and leader, such as Kompany, requires a replacement of similar charisma. City’s main issue this season has been a lack of organisation at the back, costing them far too many points. If Koulibaly or Dias joined the ranks, Guardiola could relax a little more that defensive mistakes will happen less.
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