Manchester City set to compete with Chelsea for Bournemouth's Nathan Ake
Manchester City are experiencing personnel issues in central defence and will likely have to dip into the January market.
Having not replaced the departed Vincent Kompany in the summer, City left themselves short at the back.
Then when injuries hit, Pep Guardiola was forced to play members of his team out of position just to field a starting eleven.
Fernandinho has been a mainstay at centre-back this season despite being a midfielder by trade.
According to Sky Sports, Bournemouth's Nathan Ake is high on City's centre-back shopping list.
But the Netherlands international is also wanted by his former club Chelsea as Frank Lampard looks to shore up his defence.
The Blues inserted a £40 million buy-back clause in Ake's contract when he left for Bournemouth in 2017.
The figure is much less than the £60m the Cherries were reported to be quoting teams last summer.
The clause clearly puts Chelsea in pole position for Ake's signature but City are believed to be more in need.
Guardiola, however, has publicly denied the need to sign anyone in January, saying he "does not want" to because of Fernandinho's change of position.
But the City boss did admit that "when an incredible opportunity comes in January for the next four or five or six years, maybe we can think about it".
The 24-year-old Ake fits the bill in terms of a longer-term solution that Guardiola seems to allude to.
Ake was a product of Chelsea's youth academy and came through the ranks with the likes of Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori.