Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly set to join the £20m race to sign Burnley defender Michael Keane, with Everton and Leicester City also interested.
The 24-year-old has impressed so far this season as he continues to form an important part of Sean Dyche’s side as they bid for Premier League safety.
However, according to The Sun, while Burnley had been confident of keeping hold of the England U21 international until the end of the season, interest has hotted up in the last few days and there is concern that they face a battle to keep hold of him this month.
It’s claimed that City sent scouts to watch the former Manchester United starlet in action last week, and are ready to rival both Everton and Leicester to sign the £20m-rated defender.
City’s requirement for a new defender is obvious, as Guardiola’s side currently have the unwanted recognition of having the joint-worst defensive record out of the top eight sides in the Premier League table having conceded 28 goals in 22 games.
With John Stones struggling to offer assurances on a consistent basis, Vincent Kompany’s injury woes continuing and leaky performances from the rest of the backline for the most part, it has become City’s biggest vulnerability this season and Guardiola has to address it.
Having surrendered a two-goal lead against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, City remain in fifth place in the standings, and risk falling further adrift of the top four depending on Arsenal’s result on Sunday.
In turn, Keane would certainly be a wise investment, but Everton and Leicester have their own reasons for bolstering that area of their respective squads and are likely to provide stiff competition with the added bonus of being able to offer regular playing time whereas at City there is still likely to be fierce competition for places.