Please enable JavaScript to experience the full functionality of GMX.

Guardiola may be forced into January sales

Pep Guardiola has been told he may have to sell first if he wants to sign a new central defender in January.

The Manchester City boss flew to the Maldives for a short family holiday following Sunday's shock 2-0 home loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers, which saw the champions slip eight points behind leaders Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.

Guardiola has plenty to think about before the Citizens' next game away to Crystal Palace on Oct 19, with his patched-up defence providing little evidence so far they can get their act together and Argentina defender Nicolas Otamendi was again the chief culprit against Nuno Espirito Santo's team.

John Stones will return to action against the Eagles but the real issue remains filling the huge void left by Aymeric Laporte, whose knee surgery is expected to keep the impressive France international out until early March.

Guardiola is said to have been "irked" by his employers' refusal to meet with Leicester City's £80m asking price for England defender Harry Maguire, who eventually made the summer switch to rivals Manchester United.

City were already a central defender down following inspirational skipper Vincent Kompany's decision to quit the Etihad at the end of last season and become player-boss at Anderlecht.

It is understood Guardiola has instructed scouts to deliver him some viable defensive targets before the transfer window reopens in January, and cash certainly is not the main problem.

However, his star-studded squad is already "maxed out" on the 17 foreign spots the rules allow for, so he would be forced to jettison someone to make way for a fresh continental addition.

That could be easily solved if German giants Bayern Munich come calling again for £130m-rated winger Leroy Sane, who is continuing to recover well from the cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered in the Community Shield victory over Liverpool at Wembley.

City do have highly-rated youngsters Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis waiting in the defensive wings, suggesting Otamendi might also have good reason to be fearful when January comes around.

Sponsored Content