According to Sky Sports, Premier League leaders Manchester City are in talks with Athletic Bilbao over a potential £60million transfer of centre-back Aymeric Laporte. Further talks are mooted on Tuesday afternoon.
The Citizens are reportedly looking to strengthen in the centre of defence. Argentinian centre-back Nicolas Otamendi has produced massively improved performances in the heart of the Citizens defence
The Citizens also have promising youngster John Stones and injury-prone captain Vincent Kompany as options to play at the heart of the defence. Kompany is still struggling to avoid injuries, while Stones has only recently returned from an injury problem.
Former big money signing Eliaquim Mangala is also available to City. However, the France international is very much a back-up option for the Citizens
Only Manchester United and Chelsea have conceded less than City’s tally of 18 in the Premier League this season. However, City boss Guardiola does not seem satisfied with his options.
The 23-year-old Laporte is highly-rated and is reported to have also attracted the attention of Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United. The French defender has already turned down a move to City when Guardiola first arrived at the club.
However, everybody connected with the men from Manchester will be hoping their club can nab his signature this time around.
City have been linked with a number of centre-back targets, including West Brom captain Jonny Evans. The former Manchester United defender is also of interest to City’s Premier League rivals Arsenal.
The experienced Northern Ireland international has a reported relegation release clause of just £3million in his contract. With the Baggies currently struggling for survival, the defender may well prove a bargain in the summer.
Other centre-backs linked with a move to City are Real Sociedad’s highly rated Inigo Martinez and Leicester’s England international Harry Maguire, who is establishing a fine reputation as a ball-playing centre-back with the Foxes.
Will Manchester City sign Aymeric Laporte this month?