With Aymeric Laporte set for a significant spell on the sidelines, Manchester City are left with Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones as their only recognised centre-backs.
That really isn't a great place to be as the Sky Blues look to win a maiden Champions League, whilst also defending the hat-trick of domestic trophies they collected last year. Fernandinho can cover the backline, but Pep Guardiola needs to buy an experienced central defender at the next available opportunity.
According to the Daily Mail, that's exactly what the Catalan plans to do. Fortunately for him, there are numerous options for them to browse, from up-and-coming stars to household names.
Here's at look at six men Guardiola could sign when the transfer window reopens in January.
By all accounts, Toby Alderweireld has no particular desire to stay at Tottenham Hotspur. The Lilywhites triggered a one-year contract extension in December, but there is a reasonable chance the Belgian will depart before it expires next summer.
His buyout-clause of £25m may have expired in the summer but with just half a season left on his deal by the time January roles around, City may not have to pay very much to land the 30-year-old who has grown into one of the finest defenders in the Premier League since arriving on these shores in 2014.
In the current market, the Spurs man would be a steal.
Oh yeah, it's a Tottenham raid. Alderweireld's partner in the heart of Spurs' defence is also due to become a free agent in June and countless clubs will be eyeing up an offer for him.
In many ways, Jan Vertonghen is the perfect candidate to cover for Laporte. The pair have near-identical styles of play and the latter would certainly fit the bill at the Etihad Stadium.
Nevertheless, he is no spring chicken at 32 and you can guarantee his wage demands aren't cheap. Is it worth bringing him in when Laporte is expected to return before the end of the season?
Guardiola is known to splash the cash and that's exactly what a move for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly would entail. Good luck getting the giant for less than £100m though.
There would be logic to purchasing him, however. Look at the effect Virgil van Dijk had on Liverpool when the Reds forked out £75m to prise him away from Southampton.
A player of Koulibaly's quality could surely have a similarly positive impact for their rivals. There's little doubt Guardiola would take him in the north-west, it's just about whether he can convince his seniors to open up the cheque book.
Throwing money at a problem isn't always the best way to solve it. Sometimes, a bit more guile is needed to fix the issue.
Real Betis bruiser Aissa Mandi represents a more affordable avenue for Pep to go down, as well as a defender with the skill-set the coach demands.
No La Liga centre-back played more passes than the Algerian last term, nor did any of his competitors have more touches.
He may also have committed the most fouls, but we can expect greater leniency from Premier League officials. On the face of it, Mandi is exactly what City need in Laporte's absence.
Over the off-season, TeamTalk were reporting that £15m-rated youngster Murilo was on Guardiola's radar. A deal never materialised, but circumstances were obviously a bit different back then.
Pep allegedly wanted the 22-year-old Cruzeiro man to replace the outgoing Vincent Kompany and you can see why he was deemed worthy of filling the legendary skipper's boots.
Physically imposing, comfortable in possession and a leader on the pitch, Murilo could follow in Gabriel Jesus' steps and make a smooth(ish) transition from Brazilian football to English.
Do it. Do it now.
There's not a Manchester City fan alive who wouldn't want to see en encore from captain marvel.
If he and the Citizens hierarchy really wanted to push this one through, then it wouldn't prove too complicated to arrange a six-month loan back to the Etihad.
Of course, he has a new project to focus on at Anderlecht and this homecoming will almost definitely remain a fantasy. We can dream, though...
Source : 90min