Manchester City are preparing a double swoop for the Borussia Dortmund duo of Mats Hummels and Serbian Neven Subotic, according to the Express. The German international was linked with a move to the Citizens' arch-rivals, Manchester United, but the report suggests interest from the Premier League leaders has cooled down.
City manager Roberto Mancini was reportedly looking for a January move, given club captain Vincent Kompany was to miss three matches after a straight red in the match against Arsenal. However, the FA has since overturned the suspension on the Belgian international and he is eligible to play in the weekend tie against Fulham.
Nevertheless, the English champions will be without the services of former Arsenal defender Kolo Toure till late in February. The centre back is with the Ivory Coast national team for the 2013 African Cup of Nations, with his brother and club team mate Yaya Toure. In addition, former Everton defender Joleon Lescott has also been linked with a move away from the Etihad.
The situation leaves Mancini with only summer recruit Matija Nastasic as long-term defensive options, apart from Kompany. Should the Express' report be true, the addition of the Bundesliga pair will significantly strengthen Mancini's squad.
The possible pursuit of Hummels is likely to be made easier after the German international confessed he would be keen to play outside his home country at some stage in his career.
"One day I will say that I am keen on a transfer. To play football in a new country would be flattering. I already had offers and one enquiry from these offers was really one of interest for me," Hummels explained.
Jol: Europe Exit Will Help City Challenge United
Meanwhile, Fulham manager Martin Jol believes the early exit from the Champions League (and failure to qualify for the UEFA Europa League) will help City focus on retaining the Premier League title.
"All the top three are fighting for everything. Last year City were a bit lucky, scoring in the final seconds (against QPR to win the league). It was quite exciting. There is not a lot between these top sides. They are out of Europe but they can live with it and can now focus on the league. That is probably one of the advantages they have over other teams like Manchester United," Jol said.