Manchester City are reported to be contemplating a move for Real Sociedad and Spain winger Mikel Oyarzabal, as a proactive measure to replace injured winger Leroy Sané, whose move to Bayern Munich continues to loom on the horizon.
Sané was believed to be close to a move to Bayern in the summer, before misfortune struck and an anterior cruciate ligament injury ruled him out until the end of the year, leading the Bavarian giants to pull the plug for the time being.
He will enter the final year of his deal next season, and with an agreement on a new one looking less likely by the month, it seems increasingly likely that City will cash in come the summer in order to avoid losing him for free.
His move away seems more likely still amid reports that the player's agent met with a Bayern 'confidant' in order to discuss the terms of a switch back to the Bundesliga, and while City are thought to be doing all they can to keep him, reports in Spain suggest they are planning for life after the 23-year-old.
Those contingency plans come in the form of Oyarzabal, who SPORT say is the chosen target of City's director of football Txiki Begiristain, should Sané depart.
Begiristain is believed to be a huge fan of Oyarzabal, who has netted three goals and registered three assists in Real Sociedad's last five matches in La Liga.
Having only made his full debut for Spain against the Faroe Islands back in August, he has since established himself as a regular international starter, and would be available to City for his release clause believed to be in the region of €75m.
They reportedly expect to rake in €100m from the sale of Sané, meaning the deal would represent solid business if the stars were to align to make it happen, but it all depends on whether Bayern come in strong for Sané once again when the transfer window rolls around.