Man City ‘very close’ to £80 million deal for number one centre-back target

Manchester City are “very close” to agreeing a deal to sign Inter Milan defender Milan Škriniar, according to El Desmarque.

The 25-year-old, who has 31 caps for Slovakia, has been at the San Siro for two-and-a-half seasons. In that time, he’s made over 100 appearances and become a key part of what is now Italy’s best defence, playing alongside Stefan de Vrij and Diego Godín.

Reports suggest that Manchester City could be prepared to shell out £80 million – matching what Manchester United paid for Harry Maguire last summer. Real Madrid are also keen on the centre-back, but Manchester City are said to have the upper hand at this time, with reports going as far as to say a deal is “very close” to being agreed upon.

(Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

However, the high price could be down to the fact that Škriniar signed a new contract as recently as last May, stating at the time that he was “not planning to change [clubs]”.

Aymeric Laporte has recently returned from a long-term injury, and Guardiola’s side are widely rumoured to be searching for his ideal parter, with the manager less than convinced by John Stones’ performances this season, and Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi ageing.

(Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Škriniar has emerged as one of the best central defenders in the world since his breakthrough season in 2016/17 at Sampdoria, known for his physicality and hard-tackling style.

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