With the Premier League transfer window set to open on Sunday, clubs across England are already lining up their newest potential recruits.
According to Italian outlet Calcio Mercato, in Manchester both City and United could be about to enter a battle to sign up Juventus’ Alex Sandro – the Serie A club’s first choice left-back.
While the Italian top flight is not deemed as high a quality as the Premier League, Sandro having played in every league game this term must count for something – particularly given he’s been on the losing team on just three occasions this season.
The 25-year-old does comes with a hefty price tag – roughly £50 million – however taking a quick look at both Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho’s squads may explain why he is so sought after.
At the moment Antonio Valencia is realistically the only full-back the Portuguese boss can rely on with both Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian far from his first team thoughts.
At the Etihad the cupboard is not quite as bare but it is an ageing area of City’s squad with Aleksander Kolarov and Gael Clichy now the wrong side of 30 whilst Bacary Sagna (33) on the other side of the defence has surely already had his best days in the Premier League.
It seems at present City are the club in more need of a defensive addition with both John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi looking out of their depth at times this season in the middle. United on the other hand have quality centre-backs who could conceivably do a job out wide between now and the summer if needs be.
It will be interesting to see which side wins out, if any, in this transfer battle, but one thing is for certain – the Citizens definitely need this signing more than United do.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena
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