Pep Guardiola is reportedly scouring the prospect of landing Real Sociedad centre-back Inigo Martinez to pair with John Stones at Manchester City.

According to The Sun, Pep Guardiola is not content with the depth at centre-back despite their gradual improvement at the back. While John Stones seems to have locked down a regular place for himself, the Manchester City boss is pondering a move to bring in Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez as the Englishman’s partner for long-term.

Apart from Nicolas Otamendi, who seems to have turned a new leaf under Pep Guardiola, the other options at centre-back – Vincent Kompany and Elaquim Mangala – are not entirely in the Spaniard’s plans, who has often deployed Fernandinho in the said position despite the availability of the mentioned duo.

This restricts Guardiola’s first-choice options to just two, which is not healthy for a club aiming to compete on all four fronts. Inigo Martinez thus, provides an amicable solution. The Spanish centre-back is someone that Guardiola and the other coaches admire a lot.

Despite his dogged size, the 26-year-old is widely respected within Spain and in Europe, in general, as one of the most commanding centre-backs to not be plying his trade for a top team. And it is not for the lack of interest, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and maybe more often linked with the defender.

Interestingly, Barcelona and Real Madrid have been linked with the player again, as the January transfer window nears. Real have been defensively fragile this season and Zinedine Zidane is intent on reinforcing the said position with the signing of Inigo Martinez.

Barcelona should have an advantage in manager Ernesto Valverde, who has worked with Inigo Martinez. However, according to reports, the manager is the only one who is against the idea of bringing the player in at Nou Camp and it remains to be seen if the rumours are indeed true.

Guardiola is a manager widely respected by almost everyone for his ability to not just find success but also to improve the players under him. Inigo could look at the prospect of a move, albeit for the summer, with the defender unlikely to risk his place in the World Cup squad with a January gamble.

City though, could try to land the player in January itself, which will provide a huge boost to Guardiola as he looks to improve upon his first season trophy count.

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