Defensive reinforcements are set to be made a top priority at Manchester City this January after the club was linked with a move for Ezequiel Garay.
The Sky Blues are the 9/5 favourites to secure a second Premier League title this season following their swashbuckling 6-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend – a victory that leaves them six points off current leaders Arsenal.
It was a triumph that highlighted their attacking prowess, with Spurs boasting the meanest defence in the league going into the match, in a game City ultimately dominated from the outset.
But it’s away from home and at the other end of the pitch that the real problems lie, with the absence of the injured Vincent Kompany leaving a significant hole in the Citizens’ back line that the likes of Joleon Lescott and Martin Demichelis have failed to fill.
To date the club has suffered four defeats away from home in the league this term – hardly the form of champions elect.
The lack of a reliable backup to the Belgian and his preferred partner Matija Nastasic has proven a problem so far and could prompt a move for Benfica defender Garay, who has been linked with a move to the English top flight.
A former Real Madrid player, the Argentina international is rumoured to also be a target of City’s cross-town rivals Manchester United, who remain 13/2 outsiders to retain their league crown after a 2-2 away draw with Cardiff.
But with Manuel Pellegrini offering the player the chance at regular first-team appearances as well as a hefty pay packet, the allure of a move to the blue half of Manchester may prove the more palatable option, particularly with the Red Devils already boasting a wealth of defensive options.
At the very least, the purchase of a proven defender could make the odds of 4/6 on a top two finish for the Citizens the banker of the season, with United available at 2/1 in the same market.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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