Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly set to splash out £100m on trying to sign Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and Valencia full-back Jose Luis Gaya.
The Spanish tactician was busy in the summer transfer market bolstering his backline after bringing in John Stones from Everton, while he also added goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to his squad.
However, that is seemingly just the beginning of the revamp at the back, with The Times reporting that Bellerin and Gaya are firmly on the transfer shortlist next year.
Guardiola will have been aware of Bellerin when they were both at Barcelona, but the Spaniard has developed into one of the best right-backs in Europe during his time with Arsenal having now established himself as a fixture in Arsene Wenger’s line-up.
The Times believe that it will take around £40m to try and persuade Arsenal to part company with the 21-year-old, but naturally the expectation is that the Gunners will have no interest in selling one of their best players, especially to a direct rival.
Further, the report adds that Gaya is also being targeted, with the 21-year-old currently under contract with Valencia until 2020 and has a release clause of £45m in his current deal.
In turn, it’s likely that Guardiola will have to spend around £100m if he is to bring in his two preferred targets, although City will ultimately find it difficult to wrap up deals for the pair given their importance to their current clubs.
It’s been a positive start to life in England for the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach with his side sitting top of the Premier League table after seven games, but he’ll want to continue to stamp his mark on the squad moving forward and build it into one capable of winning silverware at home and abroad for years to come.
The likes of Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov aren’t getting any younger, and so younger full-back options better suited to Guardiola’s system will likely be needed sooner rather than later.