Manchester City have added Leicester's centre-back pairing of Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu to their transfer wishlist as the club ramp up their search for defensive reinforcements.
A long-term injury to Aymeric Laporte as well as the poor form of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi has seen Pep Guardiola forced to play Fernandinho and Rodri as makeshift central defenders on various occasions this season.
Their troubles in defence have coincided with a poor start to the season - by their standards - having lost three of their opening 12 league games and slipping nine points behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League table.
In a bid to amend their current form, Sky Sports claim that City are 'considering' the Foxes duo given the pair have forged a formidable partnership in the heart of defence for Brendan Rodgers' side. Boasting the tightest defence in the division, Evans and Soyuncu have played their part in a Leicester back line that has conceded just eight goals so far this season.
No potential fees have been listed, but the Turkish international is under contract until 2023, while Evans' deal runs out in 2021, meaning both will command decent sums, Soyuncu in particular, with the Foxes under no pressure to sell. Arsenal reportedly sent scouts to watch him in action for Turkey on Thursday night.
This is not the first time City have expressed an interest in Evans, having previously failed to secure the former West Brom player's signature in 2017, who eventually moved to the King Power Stadium a year later for £3.5m.
It must be noted, however, that Guardiola has previously stated his side will not dip into the January transfer market, meaning potential moves for the Foxes stars may be put on hold until the summer.
As Sky state, Soyuncu and Evans have merely been added to a list that already contains a number of centre-back options. As revealed by 90min on Thursday, Benfica's Ruben Dias is another player who has been linked with a move to the Etihad, although City face stiff competition from rivals Manchester United.
The Portuguese international has been on City's radar for a some time, having become part of a three-man shortlist that included RB Leipzig's Lukas Klostermann and Middlesbrough's Dael Fry.
Dias - who is still under contract at Benfica until 2024 - is understood to have a €66m release clause, although his club are seeking the possibility of increasing that amount to around €90m in a bid to fend off interested parties.
Inter's Milan Skriniar has also emerged as a potential target, with it looking increasingly likely that Guardiola will backtrack on his prior statements and delve into the winter market to solve his defensive issues.
Laporte is scheduled to return sometime the new year, but even with the Frenchman back the club have still not replaced the departed Vincent Kompany, who joined Anderlecht in a player-manager move at the end of last season.