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Manchester City to strengthen title bid with move for Spurs defender

| 07.01.2014

Manchester City have been sweeping all before them in the Premier League in recent weeks to close the gap on leaders Arsenal to just one point, but defensive frailty is the one remaining doubt about Manuel Pellegrini’s side’s title challenge.

A run of five straight victories in the league has seen City installed as the 10/11 favourites for glory come May but a tally of eight goals against in that run, and a fragile display at home to Crystal Palace, have seen many question their stability at the back, especially when Vincent Kompany has been absent through injury.

And former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has called on Pellegrini to strengthen his options in defence this January with Jan Vertonghen described as a perfect fit for the Citizens.

Writing in his column for The Sun on Sunday, Redknapp said: “City’s defence is not so solid and the guy who could put that right at a stroke is Jan Vertonghen.

“The deal to take him to Spurs was just being finalised when I left, and I think he’s one of the best defenders in world football.

“The way he brings the ball out of defence makes him perfect for City. He would probably cost around £40 million, but an all-Belgian central defensive duo of Vertonghen and Vincent Kompany could prove priceless.”

New Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood will not be pleased to hear his former boss’ comments as he tries to steer the north London club to a top four finish for the first time since 2010.

Spurs, who are 3/1 to qualify for next season’s Champions League, are set to be boosted by the Belgian international’s return from injury and they will be desperate to thwart any potential interest from the Sky Blues.

But with City keen to wrestle back the Premier League crown from rivals Manchester United any potential move for Vertonghen – who could provide squad depth and form a formidable central defensive partnership with fellow countryman Kompany – would strengthen their bid to lift the trophy, while denting Spurs’ bid for European qualification.

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Oliver Yew