Since Pep Guardiola took the reigns at Manchester City, the Citizens' defence has been a constant criticism.
Although City are currently lying in second place in the Premier League, they are a good eight points behind league leaders Chelsea and their defence has shipped eleven more goals than the Blues and Tottenham.
Their city rivals, Manchester United, are only two points behind them in sixth.
Their season could just as easily peter out into the outskirts of the top six as it could turn into a challenge Chelsea's crown to lose, but if they would like to execute the latter, they need a stronger backline.
Guardiola's all-footballing philosophies have often overlooked a resolute rearguard and it could be fair to say the Spaniard relied on superior attacking, possession-based play to offset those weaknesses during his time with Barcelona, and less so, Bayern Munich.
22-year-old John Stones has struggled to justify his huge £47.5 million fee thus far, but he has not been helped by Vincent Kompany's continuing fitness issues and the rash form of Nicolas Otamendi.
However, it would appear the latter's agent has not been paying much attention this season, because he believes a European heavyweight is waiting to snap him up.
Speaking on Radio Continental, Otamendi's agent Martin Sendoa claimed that his client remains high on the Real Madrid wishlist.
“Nico has a profile very similar to Pepe, who will leave at the end of the season,” Sendoa said.
“It is true that Madrid have followed him for a long time, since his time at Valencia, along with Barcelona.”
Sendoa added that although Otamendi is currently happy in Manchester, but would find a move to the biggest club in the world 'difficult to turn down', according to Spanish publication AS.
This is strikingly similar to what Nicklas Bendtner said in 2013 when he insisted his next move would be either Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Otamendi has been far from impressive during his time with City and although Pepe seems destined for a move to China, it's hard to believe a club of Real's magnitude would just write off his last two years with City.
The 29-year-old is too quick to leave the ground in the tackle and has been exposed too many times this term; is this his agent trying to engineer a move or is the interest genuine?News Now - Sport News