What do Manchester City need in the January transfer window?
Manchester City are being linked with a host of names
Last Updated: 19/11/18 5:59am
The January transfer window is approaching but what business – if any – will Premier League champions Manchester City do?
Pep Guardiola's side sit top after a strong start to the season, but having only signed Riyad Mahrez in the summer, could they look for more reinforcements in January?
We examine the potential areas in need of attention - and take a look at the latest transfer speculation.
Midfield cover required?
A recent poll carried out by the Manchester Evening News revealed that 67 per cent of Manchester City supporters feel their midfield is the area of the squad most in need of strengthening.
Guardiola is certainly aware of the need to bolster his options there. The Catalan was interested in signing Fred before he joined Manchester United from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer, and City thought they had snapped up Jorginho from Napoli before he opted for Chelsea.
"We would like to find maybe one more because we don't have players to substitute Fernandinho," he said after City's Community Shield win over Chelsea in August.
City did not end up signing anyone and therefore remain worryingly reliant on Fernandinho. The Brazilian has started every Premier League game this season, but he turned 33 in May and the need for a long-term replacement is becoming pressing.
Who could fit the bill?
According to the Evening Standard, City have spent the last six months compiling a dossier of potential midfield targets, with Ruben Neves, Frenkie de Jong and Tanguy Ndombele said to be among them.
Neves has made a strong start to his first Premier League season with Wolves, but the same report suggests the Molineux club will demand in excess of £60m for him.
Ajax youngster De Jong has also attracted interest from Barcelona, which could hinder City's hopes of landing him, but they may have a clearer run at Lyon's Ndombele, who impressed against City in the Champions League earlier this season.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, meanwhile, City are also keeping tabs on Brescia's Sandro Tonali, who has been described as 'the new Andrea Pirlo'.
The 18-year-old has impressed in Serie B this season, earning his first senior Italy call-up this month. City have reportedly sent scouts to watch him but they are not his only suitors.
Reports in Italy say City are also interested in Napoli's Allan. However, Calcio Mercato say City already been told the Serie A side have no plans to sell him having tied him to a new five-year contract only this year.
According to the Manchester Evening News, City are also in the hunt for Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot, whose contract with the French giants is due to expire at the end of the season.
Other potential targets
It's not just midfielders being linked with Manchester City.
Widespread reports say they are monitoring De Jong's Ajax team-mate Mattijs de Ligt. Guardiola views the 19-year-old as a possible long-term replacement for Vincent Kompany in central defence. Bournemouth's Nathan Ake is another name in the frame.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Guardiola is also interested in Isco. The Spaniard has been a peripheral figure for Real Madrid since the appointment of Santiago Solari, and the Spanish newspaper says Guardiola has instructed the City hierarchy to monitor the situation.
The Sun say City are considering a move for Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo. The 22-year-old, who is valued at £44m, has been identified as potential competition for Benjamin Mendy, who is currently sidelined by injury.
Phil Foden has been linked with a transfer overseas but Guardiola values him highly. Last week, he was advised against following Jadon Sancho's example by former Manchester City forward Craig Bellamy.
"He is getting game time at City and he's still very, very young," Bellamy said on The Debate. "He's learning off some incredible players there and the best manager I've seen so it makes sense for him to stay where he is. He's in good hands."
Oleksandr Zinchenko turned down a move to Wolves during the summer but having only made four appearances so far this season, he might be tempted to look elsewhere in January.
The Ukraine international has been linked with Spanish side Real Betis and Italian outfit Napoli.
According to The Sun, Nicolas Otamendi is seeking assurances over his future having lost his place in the City team this season. The report claims Barcelona and Real Madrid are admirers of him.