A lot of fuss was made over the amount of money that Manchester City spent on full-backs over the summer. Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy all signed for the club, to the tune of around £130m. However, with Mendy out due to a long-term cruciate ligament injury, Guardiola is in the market for another quality left-back.
The Daily Mail have reported that Pep Guardiola sees Southampton and England defender Ryan Bertrand as the solution to his problem. City were allegedly set to offer £25m to secure the deal, but Southampton could push them for more money, as both teams currently lack alternative options in that area.
Bertrand first burst onto the scene in 2012, when he made his European debut for Chelsea in the Champions League Final. His opportunities at Stamford Bridge were always limited, and he made the move down to the south coast in 2015 for around £10m. He has become a solid and dependable defender at Southampton, whilst also earning 17 caps for the national team.
The signing of Bertrand would be a little harsh on Fabian Delph however. The midfielder has excelled this season as an emergency left-back for Guardiola’s side, playing every minute of the side’s last five league games. Furthermore, Bertrand won’t be able to sign until January, and with Mendy expected back in April, the Southampton man may not be a first-team regular for long.
It could be a tricky decision to make for Bertrand. His place in the side is unlikely to be secure at City, which could be a major issue for England manager Gareth Southgate, who is already sure to be thinking about his first XI for the World Cup in Russia. However, Southampton have been poor this season, languishing in 13th place, and the defender may feel he needs to join a bigger club to further his career.
Whoever City want, they usually get. However, The Saints consider Bertrand to be a crucial player, and with them facing the prospect of losing Virgil Van Dijk soon too, they won’t want to weaken their defence further. For once, City could have a tough transfer battle on their hands.