According to Greg Stobart of Goal.com, Manchester City could target Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen this summer as they look to bolster their defensive options.
Vertonghen plays with Vincent Kompany at the international level for Belgium, often at left-back, and the prospect of them linking up at the club level may well appeal to the Spurs defender.
Tottenham still have an outside chance of making the Champions League, but if they fail to finish in the top four, the likelihood that Vertonghen will want to leave will increase.
City have struggled somewhat defensively this season and a settled partner for Kompany is surely a priority when Pellegrini and Txiki Begiristain draw up their list of summer targets.
Porto's Eliaquim Mangala is thought to still be on City's wishlist after they tried to complete a deal in January, with that move falling through at the last minute when the Blues balked at the asking price (via BBC Sport).
Mangala is expected to be targeted by a number of big clubs this summer, meaning his asking price will remain high. He looks a fine prospect, full of pace and power, but a fee approaching £40 million may seem like a risk to the City board for a player largely unproven beyond the Portuguese league.
Pellegrini is also thought to admire Real Madrid’s Pepe, a defender proven at the highest level whose attributes appear to the lend themselves nicely to the rigours of the Premier League, however, at 31, Pepe may not fit Begiristain’s transfer policy, with City’s director of football more likely to target players who have scope for improvement and whose value can appreciate.
Vertonghen would seem a much more comfortable fit with City’s preferred transfer policy. He's 26 and therefore has his best years ahead of him, and is likely to cost much less than Mangala.
He offers a physical game that complements Kompany’s ball-playing technique wonderfully and if City can negotiate a fair fee, a notoriously difficult task when dealing with Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy, he could well emerge as their first-choice defensive target.
He’s a player comfortable in possession and rugged defensively, and his ability to slot in at left-back is also appealing. He knows the Premier League well and has excelled throughout his two seasons at Spurs, garnering a reputation as one of the best and most consistent defenders in the league.
Expect interest from City when the transfer window opens for business again.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @RobPollard_.
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