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Manchester City transfer links with defenders pick up speed

Come on, summer, get here! Please!

Norwich City v Southampton - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Manchester City are attempting to get their summer business done early, and the defense is clearly the biggest target for Pep Guardiola and the City board.

Sporting director Txiki Begiristain has been pictured in Spain, reportedly discussing the availability of young Valencia fullbacks Jose Luis Gayà, 21, and João Cancelo, 22. The two would be fantastic pickups and could add youth and talent to the defensive flanks. Guardiola has a history of pursuing fullbacks from Valencia, and City supporters will hope the Catalan continues this trend.

The Sky Blues are also said to have placed a bid on Atlético Madrid defender Lucas Hernández. Although it was rejected at first by the Colchoneros, negotiations will surely continue.

In other news, Everton have displayed interest in Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk because of his relationship with current Toffees manager Ronald Koeman, but according to reports, the player wants to remain with Saints until the summer window in favor of a move to City.

Van Dijk's link to City never seem to go away, and it's looking more and more like a real target for Guardiola. It is seemingly likely that Pep could deem the £50 million price tag as justified and convince the central defender to put pen to paper in the summer.