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City eye record bid for French defender Laporte, says report

  • Published at 06:13 pm January 25th, 2018
City eye record bid for French defender Laporte, says report
Highly-regarded French defender Aymeric Laporte could become runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City's record signing according to British media reports on Thursday. The 23-year-old centre-back -- who has been at Athletic Bilbao since he was 16 -- would cost City £57m ($81m) owing to a release clause in his contract at Bilbao but would resolve a problematic area for manager Pep Guardiola  where veteran Vincent Kompany is injury-prone and Frenchman Eliaquim Mangala has not impressed. Laporte -- whose move reportedly would be dependent on Mangala moving on -- would provide cover for present first-choice pairing England international John Stones and Argentinian Nicolas Otamendi. According to The Sun and the BBC, Guardiola favours investing that amount in Laporte -- who has yet to win a senior France cap though he was called up for two 2018 World Cup qualifiers -- than spending around £24m on rivals West Bromwich Albion's 30-year-old Northern Irish central defender Jonny Evans. City's current transfer record is £55m. They paid VfL Wolfsburg for Belgian international Kevin de Bruyne in 2015.