Pep Guardiola wants Ryan Bertrand to boost Manchester City’s title hopes.
The City boss will target a left-back and left-sided centre-back in the January sales.
And £30million-rated Bertrand is in his sights to cover for crocked Benjamin Mendy.
The Southampton full-back, 28, was on City’s radar in the summer.
But they went for Mendy, who made a big impact before a serious knee injury last month.
Guardiola wants defenders to help City to fight on four fronts.
He said: “We will see if we can add players in January.
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“The problem we have is the Mendy injury.”
Fabian Delph has filled in for Mendy, and Kyle Walker or Danilo could switch flanks.
But a class replacement is on the cards.
Bertrand has a contract at St Mary’s until 2021, but boss Mauricio Pellegrino might cash in.
Former club Chelsea are also thought to be monitoring Bertrand after their spluttering start to the season.
And Stamford Bridge chief Antonio Conte has even been linked with a triple raid of St. Mary’s for Betrand, Portugal right-back Cedric Soares and central-defender Virgil van Dijk.
Pellegrino certainly expects more bids for Liverpool target van Dijk and could decide to rebuild.
Barcelona sent scouts to watch centre-back Van Dijk during Holland’s win over Sweden, when he played 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, Claudio Bravo’s future at the Etihad looks bleak due to the form of rookie keeper Angus Gunn, 21, on loan at Norwich.