Transfer Talk: Five left-backs to complete Pep's rear-Guard
It seems like Manchester City are always chasing a left-back in the transfer window — and this one is no different.
With Oleksandr Zinchenko their only available left-footed attacking full-back, the Citizens could well enter the market before January draws to a close.
There are certainly plenty of intriguing options for manager Pep Guardiola to consider if the Spanish tactician feels the need to add to his squad this month.
So, as City prepare to face Swindon in the FA Cup tonight, here are five players they could look to bring to the Etihad.
While Kevin De Bruyne continues to do the business on the field, City may look towards another Belgian legend to help them with their off-field manoeuvres.
The Premier League champions’ legendary former centre-back Vincent Kompany now manages title-chasing Anderlecht.
The Brussels-based side happen to have one of the most promising left-backs in Europe on their books in the form of 21-year-old Sergio Gomez.
And the Citizens will undoubtedly be receiving positive reports on the player from their former captain.
That might put them in a favourable position should there be a race for his signature.
One of the more high-profile names regularly linked to City is AC Milan left-back Theo Hernandez.
Contracted at the San Siro through to 2024, Hernandez has already contributed two goals and five assists for the Serie A title challengers this season.
With LaLiga experience from his time at Real Madrid and four caps for his country, acquiring the Frenchman would be an enticing prospect for the league leaders.
But the Italians value the 23-year-old highly and would reportedly demand upwards of £50million to sanction his exit.
Wolves have enjoyed an impressive start to this term under Bruno Lage, with their rearguard among the most well organised in England’s top flight.
Wing-back Rayan Ait-Nouri has played a significant part in this — and the former Angers defender will be pushing for a senior France cap, having already played for their Under-21s and Under-18s.
The 20-year-old will not come cheap though, especially as he has a contract that runs until 2026 with an option for a further year.
But City are not averse to breaking the bank for the right candidate.
If the Citizens want to shop within the Premier League, Ait-Nouri would be worth taking a look at.
Everton are keen to overhaul their squad and will be hoping to use the money from a high-profile sale to fund a revamp.
Lucas Digne, 28, appears to be the player most likely to leave after a falling out with Toffees boss Rafa Benitez.
The Frenchman was one of the most creative full-backs in Europe and though his form has dipped recently, some of that is as a result of the Merseysiders’ wider problems.
If City do decide that they need a full-back in January rather than waiting until the summer, the Parisian would surely be a smart option.
Highly-rated 19-year-old Scotsman Aaron Hickey has caught the eye since moving to Bologna from Hearts in 2020.
He regularly plays down the left for the Rossoblu but the Glasgow native’s two-footedness means he is not afraid to drift into midfield.
His playing style would appear to suit the Citizens, who currently use Joao Cancelo in a similar manner to great effect.
Bologna’s No3 may not be the most obvious target and still has plenty of improving to do if he is to reach the level required at the Etihad, but Hickey is a switched-on young player who Guardiola could mould in his image.