Yaya Toure is set to solve Pep Guardiola’s defensive concerns and ensure he does not need to go into the transfer market in January.
Ivory Coast midfielder Toure , back in the fold in recent weeks after being exiled for comments made by his agent about boss Guardiola, could provide an answer to the Blues’ defensive issues.
The 33-year-old, who scored twice on his return last weekend against Crystal Palace , can play at centre-back. Indeed, he featured there for Guardiola as Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in the 2009 Champions League final.
With January a notoriously difficult month in which to buy players, Toure could slot into central defence, where the Blues are down to two fit, recognised centre-backs in John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
Guardiola has mooted Fernandinho as a potential emergency centre-half, but is reluctant to lose his influence in midfield.
City chiefs have a board meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday, at which the potential need for a new defensive face is likely to be high up on the agenda.
Chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak is understood to be willing to sanction the purchase of a new defender if Guardiola deems it vital to the team’s chances of success this season.
But City have insisted they have no plans to strengthen in the window, and Toure’s ability to play at the back could see them manage without needing to add to their squad.
In a further twist, Toure, left out of City’s Champions League group-stage squad, could find himself in the club’s plans for the knockout phase of the tournament.