The Guardian report that Atletico Madrid are demanding more than £4.26 million for Argentine international Martin Demichelis after Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini turned his attentions to the central defender after giving up on the pursuit of Real Madrid’s Pepe.
The former Malaga manager had targeted a summer move the Portuguese defender to bolster his defence but new Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti does not want to lose one of his major defensive players during the current transfer window.
This has led Pellegrini to look to Atletico instead with the Citizens hoping to agree a bargain deal of around £2.5 million for the 32-year-old who previously worked with the City boss at Malaga.
Captain Vincent Kompany looks set to miss a month of action because of a groin injury while Micah Richards is out with a hamstring problem and Matija Nasatic has only just returned to full training following an ankle injury.
City have only Joleon Lescott available in central defence and it seems likely that Javi Garcia will be pressed into emergency centre back service on Sunday for the weekend trip to Cardiff City.
Demichelis only joined Atletico earlier this summer on a free transfer from Malaga but is yet to make an appearance for the La Liga club and that could see him joining up with Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium instead with City willing to pay money for a player they could have landed for free earlier in the year.