Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has reportedly set his sights on Southampton right-back Cedric Soares as a long-term solution in that position in his squad.
The Spanish tactician will need to rebuild his defence this summer, with the likes of Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta all out of contract.
While he could opt to keep all of them or certain individuals, what is clear given their respective ages as the trio are all over 30, the City coach needs to bring in long-term replacements.
According to ESPN FC, that search has taken them to Soares, with the 25-year-old impressing for the Saints this season making 20 Premier League appearances.
However, it won’t be easy or cheap to prise him away from Southampton as he signed a new contract with the club last summer which keeps him at St Mary’s until 2020.
Naturally, Claude Puel will want to keep hold of the Portuguese international and Euro 2016 winner, but they will have to prepare themselves for a significant City bid.
Guardiola will have his work cut out in the summer transfer market, as the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss hasn’t particularly enjoyed a memorable first season in charge at the Etihad.
With the FA Cup their only hope of silverware, combined with the fact that they still haven’t solidified their place in the top four in the Premier League, he has to oversee plenty of improvement.
That must start with the defence as they have shipped 30 goals in 28 league games, nine more than Chelsea, while they conceded six in two legs against Monaco when they were eliminated from Europe.
Soares may well be a target, but what is certain is that he can’t be the only defensive reinforcement to arrive this summer if City want to progress.