Manchester City will step up their interest in Real Sociedad central defender Inigo Martinez or Jonny Evans, the West Bromwich Albion captain, after it was confirmed that Virgil van Dijk will join Liverpool for £75 million.

The latest injury to Vincent Kompany, the 39th of his City career, has increased the need to sign an experienced central defender although City have received a boost after releasing footage showing that John Stones has returned to training.

Kompany suffered yet another calf injury during the 1-0 victory away to Newcastle United and was replaced after just 11 minutes. It is understood to be regarded as a minor injury, but a similar setback for Kompany earlier this season led to an 11-week absence.

Manager Pep Guardiola’s post-match comments appeared pointed. Asked whether the latest injury breakdown would influence City’s recruitment plans next month, Guardiola replied: “I don’t know. I don’t know what is going to happen.

“Unfortunately, he [Kompany] is injured again [just] like the last three years and we have to see how long it is going to take him to recover.”

Kompany has played just 24 games over the past 18 months. The latest injury does not, though, really affect City’s recruitment plans given they had long intended to sign a central defender in the January window.