Man City still striving to fix defence

August 19, 2017
In this Sunday, December 13, 2015 file photo Liverpool's Christian Benteke (centre), fighting for the ball against West Bromwich Albion's Jonas Olsson (left), and Jonny Evans during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England. One of the most surprising moves in the summer transfer window emerged this week when City offered 18 million pounds for Jonny Evans, the former Manchester United defender who is currently club captain at West Bromwich Albion. (AP Photo)
Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola looks on prior of the Costa Brava trophy friendly football match between Girona and Manchester City at the Montilivi stadium in Girona, Spain, on Tuesday. (AP Photo)
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MANCHESTER (AP):

Manchester City has spent more than £300 million in an effort to improve its defense since last winning the Premier League title in 2014.

It's a staggering amount of money and still the problem is not fixed.

One of the most surprising moves in the summer transfer window emerged this week when City offered £18 million (US$23.2 million) for Jonny Evans, the former Manchester United defender who is currently club captain at West Bromwich Albion.

West Brom rejected the bid but is braced for another offer from the richest team in England.

"The fact that City manager Pep Guardiola feels he still needs to bolster his defense at this late stage of the window highlights the concerns he has about this area of the team. It also underscores the recent failings by those in charge of City's recruitment.

Eliaquim Mangala arrived from FC Porto for a reported £42 million (US$54.1 million) in 2014. Nicolas Otamendi arrived from Valencia for £32 million (US$41.2 million) a year later. Another centre back, John Stones, cost an initial £47.5 million (US$61.2 million) in the summer of 2016 before City turned to signing full backs this offseason.

Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo joined in the space of 10 days in July, for around £120 million (US$155 million) in total.

There's still a wide-held belief that a player signed nine years ago, captain Vincent Kompany, is holding the defense together.

Kompany was only fully fit in the final two months of last season he played six games in all competitions before April - and City lost just one of nine league games in that period. Without the captain, the 23-year-old Stones looked lost at times and Otamendi was often out of position and impetuous in the tackle.

Mangala, meanwhile, was out on loan at Valencia and it would be a surprise if he ever featured under Guardiola.

In terms of money paid for a player, the France centre back has possibly been the biggest transfer let-downs in Premier League history.

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