Manuel Pellegrini is stepping up his search for a centre-half to plug the holes in Manchester City’s leaky defence.

After already splashing out £90million this summer on forward players to boost City’s firepower Pellegrini must now deal with what is an unfamiliar problem at the back for the Blues.

The new City boss who has watched his side ship eight goals in their last three pre-season games has been frustrated in a summer-long pursuit of his defensive top target Real Madrid's Pepe by the Spanish giants' refusal to sell.

He has drawn up a list of alternatives believed to include Schalke’s coveted Greece international Kyriakos Papadopoulos who has been tracked by Liverpool and Napoli skipper Paolo Cannavaro.

Schalke are determined to drive a hard bargain if they do cash in on Papadopoulos this summer and sporting director Horst Heldt claims: “There are a lot of clubs to take into account.”

Is he worth the money he's cost? Click here for our Bundesliga expert Ross Dunbar's scouting report on Papadopoulos.