Following reports earlier from Italy, British broadsheet, The Times, is tonight reporting that Manchester City have agreed to loan out Eliaquim Mangala to Napoli for the 2016/17 season.
It has been clear for weeks now, particularly since the £47.5 million capture of John Stones, that the 25-year-old French international is not part of Pep Guardiola’s plans, with the only question being where he will end up before the transfer window closes.
In addition to Napoli, AC Milan and Valencia have shown interest, but Champions League football appears to have given Napoli the edge, with a deal now likely to go ahead. In agreeing to allow Mangala to join Napoli, City could strengthen a rival, with The Times reporting that it may help Chelsea in their attempts to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from the Italian club.
According to Le10sport, Mangala’s agent, Jorge Mendes, will fly into Manchester on Thursday to define his client’s future. Reports from Italy have speculated that Napoli could acquire Mangala on a free loan, while covering his salary. As is normal with high-profile loan deals now, Napoli may negotiate an option or obligation to buy next summer, with further details likely to emerge over the next few days.
Despite signs of promise, Mangala’s two-year stay at the Etihad has been blighted by clumsy performances. At times, particularly against physical strikers such as Diego Costa and Zlatan Ibrahimović, he has impressed, but his inconsistency and costly errors have made his stay a disappointment, with City now set to cut their losses.