Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly setting his sights on Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac as he looks to rival Chelsea for his signature.
The 23-year-old is a man in demand as The Daily Mail claim that Juventus, Liverpool and Arsenal are all interested too, but it looked as though Chelsea were in pole position after making a £5.3m bid in January.
However, City will now hope to steal a march on their Premier League rivals this summer with Guardiola in desperate need of bolstering his defence, specifically in the full-back positions.
Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov are all linked with exits this summer, and combined with the fact that that has arguably been one of City’s biggest vulnerabilities this season, it would make sense for the Spanish tactician to strengthen in the full-back department.
Various centre-halves are also mentioned in the report as it seems as though City are plotting a big-spending summer, but the more immediate focus will be on finishing in the top four to qualify for the Champions League in order to give these targets another reason to join.
City have conceded 30 goals in 28 league games this season, and shipped six to Monaco in their Champions League exit. In turn, that says a lot about where Guardiola needs to focus his attention as it’s more than likely that his side will go from strength to strength next year.
As for Kolasinac himself, the Bosnian international has been an almost ever-present for Schalke this season, scoring three goals and providing five assists as he has established himself as a key figure at the club.
Given his characteristics, it looks as though he would fit into Chelsea or City’s plans well, but it remains to be seen if the latter now have the edge in the race.