Some recent sloppy defensive displays have threatened to jeopardise Manchester City’s title ambitions and manager Roberto Mancini is considering strengthening in this department by signing Gregory Van der Wiel.
After three successive clean sheets, Manchester City’s standards have been slipping of late as they have conceded seven goals in their latest three games.
This led to Mancini indicating that the Eastlands outfit would need to regain their defensive solidarity quickly if they wanted to challenge for honours at the end of the season.
Manchester City’s betting odds are currently 6/1 to win the Premier League and this looks like decent value bearing in mind that they are joint top of the standings with neighbours Manchester United.
Although not short of talent in the defensive department, Van Der Wiel would add further depth to the squad and potentially seal a starting berth at right-back ahead of Micah Richards, Jerome Boateng and Pablo Zabaleta.
Manchester City could also sign the 22-year-old Dutchman for £17m because of a minimum fee release clause that is written in to his current contract at Ajax.
Since impressing in helping Holland reach the final of the World Cup, Van Der Wiel has been linked with Chelsea and Inter Milan, while a deal fell through which would have seen him move to Bayern Munich in the summer.
However, Manchester City’s more immediate concern will be keeping their title challenge on track with a victory against Aston Villa.
It is 1/1 in the Premier League betting odds that Manchester City beat Aston Villa and they have a fine recent record in away fixtures against the opposition.
Manchester City have only lost on two of their last 14 visits to Villa Park.
A £25 stake on Manchester City beating Aston Villa 3-2 would return £625. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.