Manchester City have shortlisted Leicester City duo Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu among potential centre-back targets, according to Sky Sports News.
It is thought that the champions remain in the market for a new central defender after stalwart Vincent Kompany departed in the summer.
Catching the eye
Both Evans and Soyuncu are enjoying excellent seasons, with Leicester flying high in 2nd after 12 matches and setting their sights on Champions League football.
They sit at the heart of a defence which has kept a joint-league best five clean sheets and shipped only eight goals - a record no team in the top flight can match.
City reportedly tried to buy Evans two years ago when he played for West Bromwich Albion, but he would join Leicester in the 2018 summer transfer window.
The 31-year-old began his career at City's local rivals Manchester United.
Soyuncu, meanwhile, was promoted into the starting eleven following Harry Maguire's departure for a world-record fee.
The Turkish international, also a 2018 acquisition from SC Freiburg, has proven an ideal replacement.
He scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace earlier this month.
City searching for solutions
Kompany's exit left Pep Guardiola with only three senior centre-halves at his disposal: Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
Injuries to Laporte and Stones, alongside the struggles of Otamendi, have prompted Guardiola to field makeshift defences including the likes of Fernandinho and Rodri, both midfielders by trade.
City's defensive weakness have been exposed in their three defeats against Norwich City, Wolves and, most recently, chief title rivals Liverpool.
They find themselves fourth in the table, behind Leicester and Chelsea.
Laporte is due to return in the New Year, but Guardiola may now deem further defensive investment necessary to sustain his side's dominance.
How likely is a January deal?
Guardiola has, as noted by Sky Sports, previously appeared to rule out buying a defender in January.
City know they would have to pay a premium at the midway point of the season.
Given that he is only 23 years old and has just under four years remaining on his contract, Leicester would likely demand a sizeable fee for Soyuncu in particular.
It is not inconceivable that it could match the £60million they successfully demanded for Riyad Mahrez in July 2018.
The window opens on New Year's Day and closes at 23.00 on Friday 31 January.