Manchester City are looking to wrestle the title back from Manchester United's grasp, but Manuel Pellegrini may need even more players to add to his squad. Olly Dawes looks ahead...
With the January transfer window approaching, you'd expect usual big spenders Manchester City to be incredibly active, but with a strong squad already in place, it's unlikely that they make any big moves, rather adding role players in order to fill gaps in the team. Here are three players who they may look to target...
Willy Caballero, Malaga - £10m
The form of Joe Hart is the main talking point surrounding Manchester City right now, as Pellegrini has dropped the England No. 1 to the bench in favour of Romanian Costel Pantilimon. Whether Hart returns to the fray or not, Pantilimon isn't good enough to sustain competing for the job, and Pellegrini has been strongly linked with Caballero, his goalkeeper at Malaga. The Argentine, 32, has impressed since moving from Elche and would provide the quality competition that Hart may need to recapture his form.
Kurt Zouma, Saint-Etienne - £7m
Another big problem for Pellegrini has been the centre of the City defence, where Martin Demichelis has yet to impress and Matija Nastasic has shown growing pains. Vincent Kompany has struggled with injury, defensive midfielder Javi Garcia is by no means a defender and Joleon Lescott may seek more regular first team football in order to make England's World Cup squad. Zouma, whilst just 19, has impressed in Ligue 1 and the strong defender looks to have a bright future, despite a recent 10 game ban for a bad tackle, and has attracted Pellegrini's interest.
Blaise Matuidi, Paris Saint-Germain - £10m/pre-contract
Matuidi is another Frenchman, and could be had for either £10m in January or on a pre-contract agreement, where he would arrive for free next summer. The departure of Nigel de Jong last year has left a big whole in City's midfield, where there is no true enforcer. Matuidi has great energy and works as a box-to-box midfielder, but puts in a lot of effort to do all the dirty work, allowing the creative players to attack – which is what City need right now. A French international, Matuidi could be a bargain for City and Pellegrini.
City's activity in the summer means they are unlikely to attack January with any great spending, but there are a few areas that could stand to be improved if City are to challenge in the Premier League and the Champions League. Most of them surround defensive work, where City have been suspect all season, but the attack seems to be firing on all cylinders right now, and they also have adequate backups up top too, with Edin Dzeko, Samir Nasri and even Stevan Jovetic fighting to break into the team.
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