Manchester City will reportedly make a January move for Espanyol left-back Aaron Martin as they look for alternatives to Benjamin Mendy.
As BBC Sport reported, Mendy is set to miss seven months of football after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the 5-0 win over Crystal Palace, leaving City without a natural left-back in their squad. According to Sport (h/t Sport Witness), signing Aaron is on their agenda for January.
It's suggested the 20-year-old was a target for City in the summer, although a deal didn't get done. The Premier League side were said to be ready to offer €20 million (£17.6 million) for the youngster in the transfer window. His buyout clause is €30 million (£26.5 million), but Sport Witness reports it will rise to €40 million (£35.3 million) next summer.
The full-back is one of the most exciting young talents in La Liga. Here's a look at what he can offer:
City manager Pep Guardiola was able to strengthen his squad significantly ahead of this campaign, with Mendy, Kyle Walker, Danilo, Ederson and Bernardo Silva all drafted in.
The coach does have players who can do jobs at left-back, including Danilo and Fabian Delph. However, he recently hinted the club will look to do midseason business to strengthen the position, per uMAXit Football:
Aaron would be a smart addition, as the youngster offers an exciting attacking dimension on that flank.
Given his age, it's little surprise there are still areas of his game that need improving. Even so, Aaron has brilliant potential, a tremendous appetite for getting forward and is making steady improvements in terms of his defensive play.
With the aforementioned buyout amount in his contract, the Spain under-21 international would be attainable in January too. You sense City will be keeping a close eye on his development while Guardiola seeks to find a temporary solution on the left side of the defence.
Eliaquim Mangala Inter Milan Rumours
According to Calciomercato.com, Inter Milan are ready to step up their interest in out-of-favour City defender Eliaquim Mangala in January.
As Calciomercato.com reported, the player's agent, Jorge Mendes, was recently pictured meeting with the Serie A side's director of football, Walter Sabatini. It's noted Inter wanted to bring in Mangala in the summer and are desperate to add another defender in January after Zinho Vanheusden picked up an injury.
Since arriving at City in 2014, Mangala has failed to showcase any consistency. He spent last term on loan at Valencia but remained at the Etihad Stadium this summer. However, he is behind John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany in the pecking order.
Per Simon Stone of BBC Sport, there may even be more players who have moved ahead of the Frenchman:
In the right type of setup, Mangala could be effective. If he's protected as part of a compact system, he is difficult to get past, as he dominates aerial battles and is strong in the tackle.
At City, especially under Guardiola, there are huge demands placed on defenders, though; centre-backs need to thrive when exposed and distribute with precision. Mangala doesn't excel in either of those areas of the game, and you sense he will be desperate for a fresh start elsewhere in January to help reignite his career.