Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that the Citizens may have to sign a defender in the January transfer window, given injuries to Benjamin Mendy, who is recovering from a cruciate ligament setback and recurring troubles to John Stones and Vincent Kompany.

Stones has been out of the side for the later part of the year with a hamstring problem while Kompany has been going in and out of the eleven with niggles. The Belgian had to be replaced at half-time of the 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford owing to his latest muscle injury, with Ilkay Gundogan coming into the side to take over in the final few minutes.

"We are thinking about it," Guardiola said, as quoted by the Guardian. "In that department we have too few players and to handle all competitions we are in trouble, real trouble if this is the case. But I can't assure anything. We're going to see what will happen in January.

"Maybe we are thinking of looking at another central defender because of Vincent's problems, John Stones is four or five weeks out. And we miss an important player like Mendy."

The news comes ahead of a transfer window where City will be looking to bridge any loose ends following their derby win last weekend at Old Trafford. The home side were thoroughly outclassed as goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi extended City's lead at the top of the table to 11 points, with Marcus Rashford scoring a consolation goal for the Red Devils on the stroke of halftime.

City already have Eliaquim Mangala in the reserves should Guardiola require any resources at the back but having already tried to ship him off in the summer, it doesn't look like the manager trusts him to do a job at the back. Guardiola used Gundogan to deputise for Kompany when he came off in the second half but insisted that there is no love lost between the duo.

"At half-time of the derby I didn't use Mangala because I tried to send a message to the players that I wanted to win the game. After we scored, I thought Zlatan Ibrahimovic would come in, so I decided to put Mangala in front, and pulled a striker out [Gabriel Jesus] because I wanted one more man in the middle to make more passes," he clarified.

Jose Mourinho
Mourinho and Guardiola embraced after the final whistle before things turned ugly in the dressing rooms Getty