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PEP'S VAN PLAN

Manchester City transfer news: Virgil van Dijk and Inigo Martinez in Premier League leaders’ sights

Guardiola is reported to have convinced City's board to hand him the funds to improve his backline in January

Pep Guardiola wants to improve Manchester City’s defence by signing either Virgil van Dijk or Inigo Martinez.

Guardiola is reported to have convinced City’s board to hand him the funds to improve his backline in January.

Virgil van Dijk is Man City’s No1 target in January

PA:Press Association
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Virgil van Dijk is Man City’s No1 target in January

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The Prem leaders are beating all before them and clinched a record 15th straight league win at Swansea last night.

But Goal.com say that Guardiola wants another defender as they look to continue fighting on four fronts in 2018.

Guardiola was keen on Van Dijk in the summer but Southampton refused to sell  him – despite the Dutch centre-back going on strike.

Real Sociedad’s Martinez, 26, was another said to be on City’s radar when they drew up a list of defensive targets.


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Pep Guardiola wants to bolster his defence to continue fighting on four fronts

PA:Press Association
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Pep Guardiola wants to bolster his defence to continue fighting on four fronts

Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez, left, is another player on City’s radar

EPA
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Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez, left, is another player on City’s radar

But the Basque defender has four years amd is unlikely to be snared on the cheap, with Van Dijk still believed to be City’s number one target.

When asked whether he wanted to strenghten his defence in January, Guardiola said yesterday: “We are thinking about it.

“In that department we have too few players and to handle all competitions we are in trouble, real trouble if this is the case.

“But I can’t assure anything. We’re going to see what will happen in January.


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Van Dijk and Southampton were on the end of a 4-1 hammering from Leicester last night

Reuters
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Van Dijk and Southampton were on the end of a 4-1 hammering from Leicester last night

“Maybe we are thinking of looking at another central defender because of Vincent Kompany’s problems, John Stones is four or five weeks out. And we miss an important player like Benjamin Mendy.”

City are in the last 16 of the Champions League and could be in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup if they can win at Leicester on Tuesday.

They will want to extend their 11-point league lead with an FA Cup assault on the cards, starting with a home clash with Burnley.

Van Dijk is likely to be a target for a host of Prem giants including Liverpool

Reuters
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Van Dijk is likely to be a target for a host of Prem giants including Liverpool