Pep Guardiola admits he may bolster his Manchester City defence from within, with the new manager identifying Fernandinho as a possible centre-half.
City continue to be linked with a major defensive signing, with Everton’s John Stones and Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci the most high-profile reported targets, but Guardiola is also considering looking internally for reinforcements.
At Barca he often used midfield players in the back four, most successfully Javier Mascherano, and has earmarked Fernandinho for similar treatment.
“Fernandinho can play in 10 different positions because he has the quality to play wherever,” he said.
“He is quick, aggressive, intelligent and strong in the air.
“He has the quality to create good build-up play and can play a forward pass, so I think he has the quality to play there [at centre-half].
“Fernando can also play there, but maybe he is not as quick as Fernandinho. So at the end of the window, we will have to see which players we have.
“A lot of the midfield players we have here can play at the back, and when that happens the buildup play is much, much better. We need to create good buildup play, with easy passes in midfield, to achieve good passes for our strikers further up the pitch.
“I believe when the ball goes from a central defender to a striker, the ball comes back as quickly as it goes, and we have to make it clear that we are building up in our first process, whether that is defenders or midfielders, and that is why we need players of quality, to play in that style, and we have the players to do that.
“By August 31, we will have the right players to play the way we want.”