Manchester City are considering a summer approach for Southampton’s on-loan defender Toby Alderweireld, according to the Telegraph.
Alderweireld, 25, joined Southampton from Atletico Madrid in September on a season-long loan deal, and has since proved a crucial figure in the club’s pursuit of Champions League football.
The Saints have the option to make his move permanent for a £6.8 million fee at the end of the season, but Atletico have the option to rescind the clause for £1.5 million and then sell him on to the highest bidder.
That fact has attracted the attention of the Premier League champions, who are looking to lower the average age of their squad, as well as for defensive cover at both full-back and centre-half.
Veteran Argentine Martin Demichelis is set to be out-of-contract in the summer, with the club still to offer him an extension, while Matija Nastasic is also expected to make his Schalke loan permanent, according to Bild.
£32 million summer addition Eliaquim Mangala has improved in recent weeks following a tumultuous start to life at the Etihad Stadium, but manager Manuel Pellegrini will still need to strengthen at the back, with Alderweirleld standing out as a potential bargain signing who still possesses a great deal of upside.
The Belgium international has missed the past four games Premier League games with a hamstring strain, but has made 18 total appearances for Ronald Koeman’s side this season, with most of his outings coming at centre-back.