Premier League champions Liverpool and runners-up Manchester City are set to battle it out for the signing of Sevilla defender Diego Carlos.
According to a report from Spanish publication MARCA, as relayed by Daily Mail, Liverpool and Manchester City are set to extend their rivalry to the transfer market as they compete to sign Sevilla centre-back Diego Carlos in the summer.
The 27-year-old joined Sevilla last summer from French outfit Nantes in a €15 million deal and has made quite the impact in his first season in Spain. Carlos has missed just three of Sevilla’s 37 La Liga matches so far, helping the club to the fourth place in the table and the third-best defensive record in the competition. He has also chipped in with two goals.
Interest in the Brazilian has skyrocketed because of his solid displays at the back, with Liverpool and Manchester City now set to fight it out for Carlos’ signing in the summer.
Liverpool, fresh after being crowned the champions of the Premier League for the first-time ever, will be in the market for defensive reinforcements. In Virgil van Dijk they have one of the best centre-backs in the game, but as far as his partners concerned, there remain some doubts.
Joe Gomez is the Dutchman’s regular partner at the heart of the Reds’ backline, but is still lacking experience, while Joel Matip continues to battle with injury issues. Dejan Lovren, on the other hand, has had a difficult season and has been linked with an exit, which makes Diego Carlos a viable target for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Manchester City, on the other hand, have more pressing concerns in the centre-back department. Having let club legend Vincent Kompany leave last summer, without signing a replacement, Pep Guardiola’s team have suffered. Aymeric Laporte has been the only reliable defender at the Cityzens’ disposal, but the Frenchman missed large parts of the season due to injuries.
Nicolas Otamendi has been in and out of the team, while John Stones has lost his form and confidence and is being linked with an exit. This has forced Guardiola to use Fernandinho as a centre-back, but the Brazilian is just a stop-gap solution. Eric Garcia has shown promise, but is still far from being the finished article. Thus, signing someone like Carlos is a top priority for City.
Apart from Liverpool and Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have also been credited with an interest in Carlos. The 27-year-old has a release clause worth £68 million (€75 million), which the clubs will have to match in order to sign him.
With Sevilla qualifying for Champions League and the defender having still four years left on his contract, they are absolutely under no pressure to offload the defender. It remains to be seen if either of Liverpool or City make concrete efforts to land the Brazilian come summer.