Manchester City have beaten Barcelona to one of Europe’s most sought after young defenders, Aymeric Laporte, according to Catalan daily SPORT.
A long-term target of Barcelona, the 21-year-old is admired by some of Europe’s biggest clubs and SPORT are certain that he will join Pep Guardiola at the Etihad this summer. Their information is that Barcelona discovered Laporte would join City days after Pep Guardiola was announced as the next coach. Barca investigated the possibility of signing Laporte, only to learn Pep wanted him at City and will be getting him.
That’s because Laporte had already made an agreement in principle to join City, and the only remaining obstacle is agreeing a fee. Notoriously tough at the negotiating table, Athletic are likely to demand Laporte’s full €50m (£40m) release clause, a similar amount as what City paid for Mangala, the player Laporte would most likely replace.
Of note, another Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo still believes Laporte is waiting for a call from Barcelona, so as always this story is unconfirmed, but SPORT are certain: Aymeric Laporte will be a Manchester City player.
Check out the tall and talented French-Basque defender in action.