Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has revealed club captain Vincent Kompany will likely return to the pitch in two weeks, according to Sky Sports.
The Belgian centre-back has endured an agonising run of injuries this season, the latest a calf injury which saw him leave the pitch after just nine minutes against Sunderland on Boxing Day.
Kompany is undoubtedly still a crucial figure in the City camp; his presence in the heart of defence seems to spread confidence and assurance throughout the entire team.
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However, his recent susceptibility to knocks and strains is beginning to raise doubts over how much longer the 29-year-old can hang on to his place as first-choice centre-back at the Etihad.
Finding a replacement in-house is unlikely to bear fruitful results, with Eliaquim Mangala yet to impress, Nicolas Otamendi blowing hot and cold in his debut season and Martin Demichelis approaching the twilight days of his career.
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The question is, therefore: should Manuel Pellegrini consider replacing his imperious skipper with another top-class defender this summer?
Here are three potential signings the City boss could pursue as Kompany's successor.
Arguably the most coveted Englishman since Raheem Sterling or Luke Shaw, Stones has forged a reputation as one of the most elegant yet imposing centre-backs in the Premier League.
The 21-year-old is excellent when it comes to reading play and intercepting passes, with his ball control and distribution also second to none for a player of his position and age.
City would have to part with a fortune to land the Everton prodigy, but there's a very good chance he will develop into one of the finest defenders of his generation should he continue improving at his current rate.
The Uruguayan has emerged as one of the finest defenders in Europe since moving from Villarreal to Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2010.
A tall, powerful and tactically astute player, Godin has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United as a result of his sterling performances at the heart of the Diego Simeone's back four.
Although he would not offer the same longevity as likes of Raphael Varane or Marquinhos, the 29-year-old could present a cheaper option for City should they aim to ascertain to UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules.
The Valencia star has flown under the radar on his path to becoming one of the most consistent defenders in La Liga.
Mustafi arrived at the Mestalla from Sampdoria in August 2014 and has already made a strong case for holding down his role as first-choice centre-back alongside Aymen Abdennour.
In the wake of overcoming their debt troubles of the last five years or so, Valencia are in the process of rebuilding a squad capable of challenging in Europe.
This means any offers for their best players which come short of their valuation are likely to fall on deaf ears. However, City are not ones to shy away from flexing their financial muscle to get their man.
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