Pep Guardiola’s side must make signing a central defender a priority whenever the transfer window opens with Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones proving unreliable and Aymeric Laporte injury prone.
In one of his final acts in Manchester, Vincent Kompany solidified his status as a club legend as his thunderbolt against Leicester helped seal City’s second consecutive Premier League title in May 2019.
Kompany’s departure would leave Man City with Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi to fend for the two centre-back berths.
Or so Pep and co thought.
Laporte’s injury in August caused chaos in City’s rearguard with first-choice defensive midfielder Fernandinho moved back for the majority of the season.
While the Brazilian has performed admirably in Laporte’s absence, he is not the answer with City conceding 31 goals in 28 games this season as opposed to 23 in 38 last season with City 25 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool.
Clearly Guardiola needs to find a replacement for Kompany who can lead the City defence when Laporte is out and preferably when the Frenchman is fit.
Below are five players Man City could look to for the new season
Caglar Soyuncu – Leicester City
The Turkish defender has settled into life brilliantly since his introduction into the Leicester starting XI, helping the Foxes maintain a place in the top four throughout the season.
He had to bide his time initially upon signing from Freiburg in the summer of 2018 with just six Premier League appearances. However, Harry Maguire’s departure has seen him flourish under Brendan Rodgers.
Soyuncu is the modern centre-half, composed on the ball, strong in the air and is just 23-years of age. He would provide the perfect foil for Laporte but, at a cost like his predecessor Maguire.
Jonny Evans – Leicester
Soyunchu’s partner at the back for Leicester is ageing like a fine wine for Leicester. His performances for the club made him a frontrunner to be named on the Team of the Year and alongside Soyuncu they have conceded just 28 Premier League goals, with only Liverpool posting a better record.
His age (32) and the fact he was a United regular for years do not work in his favour. Nonetheless, he would provide huge stability and leadership for City, should they come calling.
Tyrone Mings – Aston Villa
Should Villa be relegated to the Championship it is almost certain that Mings will leave the club, although it is highly likely the England international will depart anyways.
His initial stint in the Premier League with Bournemouth was marred by injuries but he responded brilliantly, guiding Villa to the top tier after his arrival in January 2019. He earned his first English caps in August of last year and stands a real chance of starting for his country whenever the Euros are played as a left-sided centre-half.
However, the preference of his left foot could prove troublesome alongside Laporte as will his premium as an English player.
Kalidou Koulibaly – Napoli
The Napoli man has been consistently linked with City, among a host of other top European clubs, over the past couple of years but has remained in Italy.
Routinely named among the best centre-backs in the world, the Senegalese man has all the attributes you could possibly want in a centre-back, combining huge strength with surprising speed.
However, at 28 years-of-age, he looks to be entering the twilight of his career. It would also take a huge fee to prize him from Naples but, it would be a statement signing from the Cityzens.
Samuel Umtitti – Barcelona
The World Cup winner has fallen out of favour at Barcelona since the signing of fellow French international Clement Lenglet.
As such, Umtitti may be open to a move to Manchester. He performed superbly for his country at the 2018 World Cup alongside Raphael Verane and could do the same in another all-French pairing alongside Laporte.
Once again, he is predominately left-footed which may be an issue as would his transfer fee with Barcelona’s first-choice Gerard Pique nearing the end of his illustrious career.