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Pep Guardiola reacts during the Manchester derby at Old Trafford

Pep in the market for a defender

WT24 Desk

Pep Guardiola says he is in discussions with Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain over potentially signing a central defender in January, Sky Sports reports.

City’s first-team options in the heart of defence include John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, Eliaquim Mangala and captain Vincent Kompany, who Guardiola confirmed was likely to return to fitness in the next few days.

Various newspaper reports on Friday linked Man City with a £70m move for Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk and in April Sky Sports News exclusively revealed he was one of Guardiola’s six summer targets.

However, with Kompany often sidelined through injury Guardiola admits the league leaders could be active in the upcoming transfer window if there is a viable option available.

“We just speak about [January transfer signings] with the club and Txiki because in the central defender position we don’t have many players, especially in this situation,” said Guardiola.

“Vincent is always injured, he fights a lot to be ready but sometimes he is not able to be fit consistently and we have just three central defenders in that moment for competition.

“Maybe we need one more guy in that position, we are talking about that but of course in winter time it is so complicated.

“We don’t want to sign someone for three or four months, we want to sign them for years and makes sure they are the right guy, if this doesn’t happen we are not going into the market.”

City surpassed Arsenal’s record of 14 consecutive league wins with their 4-0 drubbing of Swansea on Wednesday night, but Guardiola would not entertain the idea his side could replicate Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles in 2003/04 by going the whole campaign unbeaten.

“That is not going to happen, that record belongs to Arsene Wenger and his amazing Arsenal in 2004,” Guardiola said.

“We are going to lose games, today is a completely different intensity so that is going to happen [losing]. Now what is happening is the exception and we would like to send a message that it is an exception, that it is not normal what we have done.

“We are so happy, we are going to fight to try maintain as long as possible, but that is an exception. People, teams, players lose game and that is going to happen [to us].”

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