Manchester City Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Aaron Martin and Samuel Umtiti

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2017

WINTERTHUR, SWITZERLAND - JULY 28: Aaron Caricol Martin of Espanyol Barcelona gestures during a friendly match between Espanyol Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund as part of the training camp on July 28, 2017 in Winterthur, Switzerland. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Manchester City could target Aaron Martin and Samuel Umtiti, as the Premier League leaders attempt to bolster their defence.

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo (h/t Lucas Sposito of Sport Witness) reported both Manchester City and Manchester United might attempt to sign Espanyol full-back Martin, who could be available at around the €20 million (£17.8 million) mark. He was previously linked with a switch to the Etihad Stadium last summer as manager Pep Guardiola captured Benjamin Mendy from Monaco.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 22: Aaron Martin of RCD Espanyol runs for the ball during the La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and Club Atletico de Madrid at the Cornella - El Prat stadium on April 22, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Ima
David Ramos/Getty Images

Mendy is now recovering from cruciate ligament damage, and Guardiola needs to reinforce his defence.

The 20-year-old Spaniard has impressed in Catalonia and has appeared in 17 La Liga matches this season.

Martin has maturity beyond his years, and he would be an excellent long-term project for Guardiola to mould and develop.

Here he is in action:

City have shown no weakness since Mendy's serious injury, and they continue to dominate at the summit of the Premier League.

However, Martin would provide valuable cover at a vital stage of the season, and allow Guardiola the extra rotation his players will need in the second half of the campaign.

At the quoted price, Martin could be a steal, with youth on his side and plenty of time to adjust to the Sky Blues' formation and tactics.

In other City news, Guardiola could pounce on his former club to make a move for Barcelona defender Umtiti.

VALENCIA, SPAIN - 11 26: Samuel Umtiti of FC Barcelona prior to the La Liga 2017-18 match between Valencia CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio de Mestalla on November 26 2017 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Max Winters for MailOnline reported the City boss could raid his old team after Virgil van Dijk signed for Liverpool from Southampton. The centre-back would reportedly be available for £50 million due to an existing release clause, making him excellent value after Van Dijk's £75 million switch to Anfield.

The long-term fitness of Vincent Kompany continues to be a worry for Guardiola, and it could be time to bring in a fresh centre-back with technical capabilities.

Umtiti has starred for Barca since his move from Lyon, but a chance to work with a coaching icon in Manchester would be very tempting for the Frenchman.

However, Barca are flying in La Liga, and they would do everything in their power to force the defender to remain with them.