Just days after it was reported that Manchester City had turned their attentions to signing one of the biggest defensive talents in Europe, it has emerged that Pep Guardiola’s side have finally struck a deal.
The Premier League leaders have agreed a £57million deal with Athletic Bilbao for the highly rated defender Aymeric Laporte, according to Gianluca di Marzio.
Laporte, who has a transfer release clause that would mean the Basque club have to accept any offer of €65 million, will arrive at the Etihad next week ahead of a move.
He will reportedly sign a five-year contract at the club.
Guardiola is clearly a fan of Laporte’s and tried to sign him in the summer, as well as his successful move for John Stones, but had a £38 million move turned down by Bilbao.
Since then, the young Frenchman has signed a new contract which has a release clause for £55 million and despite already spending around £50 million on one 22 year old defender, that clearly hasn’t put Guardiola off signing another young centre-back.
City were linked with a move for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window but Guardiola didn’t think that represent the player’s value.
Is Laporte better than Van Dijk?
Aymeric Laporte is an excellent young defender who, at 23, has probably been ready for a new challenge for a couple of years now. Even at ~£60m there’s real value there for Man City as he’ll offer immediate quality, longevity and potential future growth
– Ryan Baldi (@RyanBaldiFW) January 23, 2018″
In previous years, City have spent £40 million on Eliaquim Mangala and around £35 million on Nicolas Otamendi, but Guardiola will be hoping that Laporte lives up to his price tag, unlike the previously mentioned.
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