Manchester City are looking to get over their Alexis Sanchez heartbreak by making a pair of January swoops.
Manchester City are looking to get over their Alexis Sanchez heartbreak by making January swoops for Athletico Bilbao's Aymeric Laporte and Shakhtar Donetsk's Fred.
Goal has claimed that City boss Pep Guardiola has instructed his superiors to bring the duo to the Etihad before the winter window slams shut in just eight days' time, and a deal for Fred in particular could be sealed within the coming days.
The Metro has indicated that the Premier League leaders are on the verge of tying up a transfer for the Brazilian midfielder, who they view as the long-term replacement to veteran compatriot Fernandinho.
The Telegraph had understood that City's hierarchy had opened talks with with their Donetsk counterparts on Monday, and discussions will have had to developed rapidly if the Metro's report is now to be believed.
Fred will set City back around £35m if they manage to snap him up, with Guardiola asking his club's board to secure the 24-year-old's signature this month rather than wait until the summer to acquire his talents.
Fred would be cup-tied for the Citizens' remaining Champions League fixtures having already featured in that competition for Shakhtar - ironically against City in the group stages - but will add strength in depth to their already talented midfield ranks.
Laporte, meanwhile, was expected to also join City at the end of this term but Guardiola wishes to lure him to Manchester six months ahead of schedule.
The French center back drew scorn from City supporters in the summer of 2016 for pulling out of a switch to England at the last minute, but that has not deterred Guardiola from landing his man.
Laporte is on the club's radar again after City lost out to Liverpool in the race to sign Virgil Van Dijk, with chief executive Txiki Begiristain contacting the 23-year-old's agent about the possibility of a move.
If Laporte agrees to leave Bilbao midway through this term, City would end up having to pay his £57m buy out clause - a fee that they would have no problem stumping up.