Aymeric Laporte could finally become a Manchester City player in the next week, with Marca believing a conclusion to this drawn-out saga is near.
According to the Spanish newspaper, Athletic Bilbao are now working under the idea that their prized asset will soon be wearing the sky blue of Manchester City. City have been linked with Laporte for over a year, but it was a story last December, in which Mundo Deportivo claimed Laporte, Gündoğan and Thiago would be Pep’s three main targets at City, that really kickstarted the rumour.
Laporte has had an offer since March to join Guardiola at the Etihad, but his strong loyalty to the Basque club has raised questions about whether he’d make the big move. Athletic have been due to offer the 22-year-old an improved contract, but Marca say there is ‘no progress’ on that front and his club seem to believe he is Manchester-bound.
A serious injury to Laporte also cast further doubt about the deal happening, but having monitored his recovery, City appear satisfied and have not been put off. Marca claim Laporte is fully aware that if he turns down Pep Guardiola this summer, he may never get the chance again.
The story states that City hope to sign Laporte in the next week and will activate his €50 million (£39.5 million) release clause. One of Europe’s most sought-after young defenders, Laporte would be City’s second high-level signing of the summer after the £20 million capture of İlkay Gündoğan from Borussia Dortmund.
Check out Laporte in action: