Having to settle for a 1-1 draw against early-season relegation scrappers West Brom on Tuesday night, Manchester City missed a golden chance at the Etihad and have continued to show a string of issues so far this season.
As we inch closer to the New Year, Pep Guardiola’s men are already desperately trying to make up some ground and have really failed to set the Premier League alight, despite their Champions League success.
Despite once again breaking the bank over the summer and bringing in the likes of Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias, it has been widely reported that the former Bayern Munich boss still has his sights set on bolstering his squad in January.
A squad that appears to be going through a transition, we have taken a look at three star names who are linked with a potential move to the Etihad in the near future.
Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund
While Erling Haaland might find himself dealing with a brief stint on the sidelines with a thigh injury, there is no doubt that the 20-year-old striking sensation will be topping many a wishlist from across Europe.
Only going from strength to strength since making the move to Borussia Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg almost 12 months ago, the Norweigan ace has proven to be one of world football’s most clinical marksmen.
With Sergio Aguero’s contract coming to an end in the summer, Manchester City have been continuously linked with a move for Haaland, whose father spent three years with the Premier League outfit between 2000-2003.
With some around the Etihad feeling that Gabriel Jesus is not the man to spearhead a new-look City title charge, it was reported by The Sun last week that the Sky Blues have officially entered the Haaland race and they are willing to break the bank in order to clinch his signature.
Confirmed that the 20-year-old has a £68.7million release clause, Haaland also lifted Europe’s Golden Boy award after scoring an impressive 27 goals in 29 appearances for Dortmund.
Marcus Thuram – Borussia Mönchengladbach
With Chelsea spending over £120million to bring both Kai Havertz and Timo Werner over from Germany during the summer, the Bundesliga has certainly become a real breeding ground for some of Europe’s top young starlets.
Along with Haaland continuing to gain a string of admirers in rural Germany, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram has really burst onto the scene and the 23-year-old is rumored to have caught Guardiola’s eye.
The son of former French World Cup-winner and Les Blues icon Lilian Thuram, the pacey forward played a vital role as Gladbach secured their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, and a showdown with Manchester City.
Now a fully-fledged French international after making his own debut for Didier Deschamps’ champions earlier in the year, Dutch outlet BILD reported last month that the Sky Blues are in a three-way battle with Real Madrid and Juventus to land Thuram’s signature.
Thuram has emerged as one of the most exciting young prospects in world football since his £8million move from French side Guingamp last summer, scoring 14 goals and recording nine assists in 39 matchups last season.
Lautaro Martinez – Inter Milan
While Lautaro Martinez might have largely played the sidekick role for a red-hot Romelu Lukaku this season, the Argentina ace has still notched himself five Serie A strikes and is still a man certainly in demand.
Previously heavily linked with a potential move to Spanish heavyweights Barcelona over the summer, The Sun and numerous outlets across Europe are reporting that Guardiola is keen on bringing the 23-year-old over from Italy in January.
A signing that would undoubtedly excite many around the blue half of Manchester, City’s hopes of snapping up Martinez were given a real boost last month after the Inter forward issued his current employers with a hefty wage demand.
The Sunday Mirror reported that Martinez has told I Nerazzurri they must hand him a pay rise to the tune of £100,000-per-week if he is to sign an extension at San Siro.
Already turning down Inter’s initial contract extension offer and negotiations appearing to be at an impasse, City could be eyeing up a January swoop when the window reopens.