David Alaba and Julian Weigl: Football Whispers identifies Manchester City transfer targets

David Alaba

Ahead of the January transfer window, Football Whispers takes a look at two possible targets for Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola...

After a solid start to life under Guardiola, City have hit a rough patch of late.

They have been particularly leaky at the back, conceding 19 goals in their 15 Premier League games so far this season.

Guardiola has refused to single out any of his players for criticism, but rumours persist suggesting the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach is keen on reinforcing his squad when the transfer window re-opens in January.

With that in mind, Football Whispers has taken a look at two men reportedly on his wish list: Julian Weigl and David Alaba...

David Alaba - Bayern Munich

Guardiola will be well aware of Austrian full-back Alaba, having worked with the 24-year-old throughout his three-year spell in charge of Bayern.

The Sun first reported City are readying a £40m bid for Alaba, with Guardiola having identified the 50-cap Austria international as the ideal left-back for his system.

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A graduate of Bayern's youth academy, Alaba has been a regular first-team star since returning from a season-long loan with Hoffenheim in 2011.

 Victor Lindelof of Benfica challenges David Alaba of Bayern Muenchen
Image: Victor Lindelof of Benfica challenges David Alaba of Bayern Munich in the Champions League

In addition to his customary spot on the left side of defence at the Allianz Arena, Alaba's versatility has enabled him to play at centre-back, wide on the left and, particularly at international level, in the centre of midfield

While working under Guardiola, Alaba was often used as an inverted full-back, meaning that when Bayern attacked, rather than pushing up high on the left as would be expected of a player in his position, he would move into a central zone, effectively becoming an auxiliary attacking midfielder. It was from this position that he scored a sublime 25-yard strike against Arsenal in the Champions League in 2015.

Having spent around £170m on new recruits this summer, Guardiola is apparently keen to continue splashing the cash in the hope of improving the quality of full-backs.

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In recent weeks, he has opted to line up with a back three, deploying Leroy Sane and Jesus Navas as wing-backs, in an apparent effort to circumvent the need to play full-backs altogether.

It is believed that this is a temporary measure until the City boss can bring in the kind of wide defenders capable of carrying out his instructions to the letter; Alaba would fit that bill perfectly.

Since Carlo Ancelotti took the reins at the Allianz Arena, Bayern have been playing a more conventional 4-3-3 systen. As such, Alaba is no longer instructed to move forward and join the attack in central areas, as he was last season.

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However, that hasn't prevented Alaba from being extremely effective in the offensive phase of play, having netted one goal and registered an impressive tally of five assists from 1,456 minutes of action. He has also been typically diligent in carrying out his defensive duties, winning 17 tackles, 48 duels and making 35 interceptions.

By way of comparison, City left-back Aleksandar Kolarov, who would be a direct positional rival of Alaba should the Premier League side be successful in their attempts to sign him, has scored once and registered three assists despite having played more minutes (1,606). The Serbian international has won the same amount of tackles as Alaba in that time and made one fewer interception.

Another of City's left-backs, Gael Clichy, has scored once and registered no assists in his 903 minutes of game-time this term.

Julian Weigl - Borussia Dortmund

City have been credited with an interest in Borussia Dortmund midfielder Weigl for some time, and Italian media outlet Calciomercato recently reported the Citizens are preparing to make their move for the highly-rated 21-year-old.

Weigl joined Dortmund in the summer of 2015 from 1860 Munich, where he became the youngest captain in the club's history.

Playing at the base of Thomas Tuchel's fluid BVB midfield, the youngster has been likened to Barcelona star Sergio Busquets for his ability to conduct proceedings and build attacking moves from deep.

Dortmund's Julian Weigl celebrates after scoring against Sporting in the Champions League
Image: Dortmund's Julian Weigl celebrates after scoring against Sporting in the Champions League

It is undoubtedly these qualities that have caught Guardiola's eye after the City boss enjoyed tremendous success at the Nou Camp, having given Busquets his first-team debut in 2008.

The four-cap Germany international played 51 times for Dortmund last season and was a major factor in the club's resurgence, eventually finishing runners-up to Bayern, after coming seventh in Jurgen Klopp's final campaign a year earlier.

Despite his tender years, Weigl stands at 6'2" tall and has all of the requisite physical qualities to succeed in the Premier League.

If he were to move to the Etihad, he would be reunited with former Dortmund team-mate Ilkay Gundogan, who joined City in a £20m deal this summer, and would likely be competing with Fernandinho for a starting berth.

With his role being that of a deep-lying playmaker, Weigl is a rare scorer. In fact, he registered the very first goal of his senior career in the group stages of the Champions League against Sporting Lisbon in October this year.

With a pass completion rate of 91.5 per cent, Weigl is extremely accurate and intelligent in possession.

He has also made 23 tackles and won 65.1 per cent of his duels this term. Though Fernandinho has won more tackles (28), he is bettered by the German when it comes to pass accuracy (85.8 per cent) and successful duels (51.1 per cent).

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