Manchester City are expected to step up their pursuit of Martin Demichelis.
The Blues are somewhat short of defensive options at the moment, with influential skipper Vincent Kompany sidelined for a month with an ankle injury. England international Micah Richards faces a similar time on the treatment table with a hamstring problem, whilst 20-year-old Mateja Nastasic, so impressive in his debut season in England, is recovering from an ankle knock.
This leaves Manuel Pellegrini with a dilemma ahead of the trip to Cardiff City on Sunday. Joleon Lescott is assured of his place in the heart of the back four, and he could be paired with midfielder Javi Garcia if Nastasic fails to prove his fitness. Another option could be to give Dedryck Boyata, 22, a rare outing, in what would be just his 11th Premier League appearance for the club.
In the long-term, City are eager to avoid a repeat of last season when they suffered badly during a two-month spell in which Kompany was absent with a calf problem. It is being widely reported that Pellegrini will turn to his former Malaga charge Demichelis, the Argentine international, who only joined Atletico Madrid earlier this summer upon the expiry of his La Rosaleda contract.
The 32-year-old has yet to play a competitive match for his new club, who are believed to be willing to cash in on his signature so they can make a quick profit. But whilst they are thought to have slapped a €5million (£4.26million) price tag on his head, the Etihad Stadium club would be hoping to land the experienced central defender for just half this price.
After leaving River Plate in 2003 Demichelis spent seven years at Bayern Munich, a stint in which he collected four league titles. He has 37 international caps to his name after debuting in 2005, and he was a key man in Diego Maradona’s World Cup line-up in 2010.