Cape Town - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will have a sizeable
transfer kitty at his disposal in January if the club manages to identify a
long-term replacement for Vincent Kompany.
The City boss spent £125m during the summer window bringing
in midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid and right-back Joao Cancelo from
He raised eyebrows, however, after insisting the Citizens
could not compete with rivals Manchester United for the £80m capture of
defender Harry Maguire from Leicester City.
The Premier League champions generated summer sales of
around £70m in total - with the most high-profile departures being Danilo,
Douglas Luiz and Fabian Delph.
And club insiders have stated that cash is still available
should Guardiola and his scouting network feel they need to move quicker on a
Kompany successor, who quit City at the end of last season after 11 years to
become player-manager of Anderlecht.
The Catalan has stated he could even utilise midfielder
Fernandinho in a centre-back role, if required, although he remains convinced
John Stones and Aymeric Laporte can build a long-standing partnership at the
heart of the City rearguard.
Stones is now entering the peak years of his career and, at
25, will hope to be the player that the manager builds his defence around for
The England man has slightly flown under the radar after the
emergence of Maguire but remains a talented player and someone who Guardiola
While the manager might be handed cash to spend in the New
Year, it is open to debate as to whether he would be able to use it on another
stopper as it is tough to find top-class players during the January transfer
window as clubs are not willing to sell.
The European heavyweights are usually still involved in the
Champions League and it would benefit neither party to sell a key player who
would then not be able to feature in the rest of that competition.
City have recruited wisely in recent years and borne the
fruit with back-to-back Premier League titles, and it is unlikely that the
Spanish tactician would be frivolous with the cheque book to sign a player
unless he was top drawer.
With that in mind, it seems likely that he will stick with
what he has and hope that Stones can prove to be the rock at the back that
Kompany was for so many years.