Whether you believe City paid the full £42m or not for Eliaquim Mangala, the fact remains – he is our record defensive signing. And so today’s story from VoetbalNieuws, saying that Standard Liege want to sign the French defender on loan for 6 months, is less than flattering.
The Belgian side, who sit in 7th in their league, are showing ambition in the market, having just signed Victor Valdes on loan from United. But Mangala, really?
If this deal was to happen – and it surely won’t – two things could help it go through. First of all is the fact that Mangala played for Standard from 2008 until 2011, before moving to Porto where he became such hot property. An affinity for his former club could play a part, but that is more likely when he is a sentimental 34-year-old and not a 24-year-old with ambitions of playing at the highest level.
The report from Belgium also makes a big deal out of Daniel Van Buyten, now involved in the running of Standard Liege, and who of course is a former City player. His connections at City are said to be a reason why Standard could sign Mangala for half a year. The article does acknowledge, however, that any deal for Mangala would be much tougher than Valdes, who United were almost trying to starve out of the club.
Mangala to Standard might have a slightly more realistic chance of happening if City were not constantly beset by injuries. Reports today suggest Vincent Kompany could be out for another six weeks. Demichelis will never give less than 100 per cent, but at the age of 35 his legs do not respond to instructions like they used to. So, unless City decide to go and splash up to £50m for John Stones – a deal reported to be more likely next summer – Mangala is needed for what remains of the season.
But hey, you can’t fault Standard’s ambition.