The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping their club can secure the services of Jorginho and Riyad Mahrez in the near future, but recent reports suggest they could also add a central defender to their ranks before the transfer window slams shut in August.
Manchester City acquired the services of Aymeric Laporte in January in a deal which was clearly designed to lay the foundations of a solid defensive partnership alongside John Stones in the years to come. However, with Vincent Kompany now 32-years-old there’s no doubt that Guardiola will need to dip into the market for another centre-back in the near future.
And according to a recent report from media outlet SZ (via City Watch) City’s manager has already begun his search for a long-term replacement by identifying World Cup sensation Benjamin Pavard as a potential target.
The same report claims that Bayern Munich are in the driving seat to secure his signature, but Guardiola’s impact could yet swing his decision in the Citizens’ favour.
However, the decision to sign Pavard (valued at £27 million by Transfermarkt) represents something of a surprise as the France international was hardly known prior to the World Cup this summer where he has played a starring role at right-back.
Despite being a centre-back by trade, Pavard has been mightily impressive with his marauding style on the right-side of France’s defence, and he displayed the full extent of his technical quality with a stunning equaliser against Argentina in the last-sixteen.
His versatility is certainly a quality which Guardiola seeks in his outfield players, so the form he has demonstrated on the international stage will add an extra weight of appeal to any potential deal.
But with the need for a centre-back looming on the horizon Pavard could represent City’s perfect long-term replacement for Kompany.
With the physical attributes to cope with the intensity of the Premier League, an intelligent understanding of the game and a composed calming influence in possession of the ball, Pavard appears well-placed to succeed Kompany and, if his World Cup form is anything to go by, Guardiola should do everything he can to beat his former club to the 22-year-old’s signature.
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