Newcastle United face competition to sign Sevilla defender Diego Carlos in January, with a Premier League club matching their £30million bid for his services. Express Sport evaluates four prime suspects and their potential reasoning for joining the race for the 28-year-old Brazilian.
Dean Smith ensured Aston Villa ended the summer transfer window with four first-team centre-backs by signing Axel Tuanzebe on loan from Manchester United.
However, United recalled Tuanzebe, now at Napoli, earlier this month amid concerns Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool ties would disrupt his chances.
So Gerrard currently has just three first-team centre-halves available in Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Kourtney Hause.
The Villans have already made waves in January, signing Lucas Digne from Everton and loaning Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona.
And further defensive investment is not out of the question, especially after Konsa went off injured at half-time against United on Saturday.
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Leicester have suffered their fair share of defensive injury woes this season, especially centrally.
Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu have both endured spells on the sidelines, whilst Wesley Fofana has missed the whole season.
Daniel Amartey and Wilfred Ndidi have done shifts at centre-back, whilst Hamza Choudhury slotted in against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
Brendan Rodgers could be looking to bolster his bid to maintain Leicester’s status in Europe by recruiting a new centre-half.
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West Ham United
David Moyes couldn’t name a senior centre-back on his bench in West Ham’s 3-2 defeat to Leeds United at the weekend.
Craig Dawson and Issa Diop started, but Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna are currently unavailable through injury.
With the Europa League knockout stages starting next month, the Hammers could be looking to add proven European quality to their ranks.
And Carlos, having made himself available for a transfer this month, could fit the bill perfectly.
Chelsea is a bit of a wildcard pick, but it makes sense given Carlos’ credentials as a renowned centre-back in European football.
Thomas Tuchel’s side’s defensive record has plummeted in line with their slump in recent weeks, winning just one of their last seven Premier League games.
And with Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger’s contracts expiring in the summer, he might want reinforcements.
If the Blues are calling for Carlos, Newcastle’s bid to lure him to St. James’ Park could be in serious jeapordy.