Not doing any business in January, Manchester City decided it was best to carry on with what they had in their squad than overpay for a reinforcement from the small pool of available players midway through the season.
Yet, despite brimming with talent from midfield onwards, the defence has been an issue throughout the 2019-20 season, with injuries plaguing the centre of Pep Guardiola’s backline.
Both John Stones and Aymeric Laporte have missed large chunks of the campaign through injury, and while Eric García was brought in, he isn’t exactly of the standard (yet) needed to try and turn things around at the back for City.
That means Guardiola has had to plug and play Fernandinho next to whoever is fit at the time (normally Nicolás Otamendi), which has produced mixed results; the latest of which a 2-0 loss to José Mourinho’s Tottenham on February 2nd.
With all that in mind, it comes as no surprise that Manchester City would be linked with one of the more in-form young defenders in Europe this season in Marash Kumbulla.
The 20-year-old has been a key part of Verona’s great run of form in Serie A this season, as they sit sixth in the table after beating Juventus 2-1 at the weekend to take their unbeaten run in the league to eight games.
This has attracted a lot of interest, with the Premier League champions being linked for the first time (in an Italian paper) on Monday, as Corriere dello Sport explain they are among the list of clubs ready to challenge Inter for Kumbulla’s signing.
They join Manchester United, Everton and Bayern Munich in doing so, showing exactly how exciting the youngster’s potential is.
It’s stated a move for the player won’t be ‘simple’, but if he carries on playing the way he has, someone with a lot of money might make it just that by slapping a large cheque in front of Verona’s board and convince them to let their new star go.
After all, City did just that with both Stones and Laporte…