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Man City eye record bid for French defender Laporte: reports


London (AFP) – 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 £57million ($81million) 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 £24million on rivals West Bromwich Albion’s 30-year-old Northern Irish central defender Jonny Evans.

City’s current transfer record is £55million. They paid VfL Wolfsburg for Belgian international Kevin de Bruyne in 2015.

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