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From Spain: Manchester City set to trigger €65m release clause of defender this month

Manchester City are set to make a second move for Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte after he famously had a late change of heart on a move to the Etihad Stadium in 2016, Spanish journalist Uri Mora has claimed on El Chiringuito TV.

Mora, whose reliability we are uncertain of, claimed in an elaborate exclusive on Sunday night that City will trigger the 23-year-old’s €65million (£54.7million) release clause before the end of January’s transfer window.

It would come as a major surprise were Laporte to sign after reports that Pep Guardiola wouldn’t return for him after his snub a couple of years ago, not to mention a complete lack of rumours that he is on City’s radar.

The player has the correct profile of a Guardiola style defender, robust, elegant and excellent with the ball at his feet, though it remains to be seen if this developing story has any credibility.

In recent days, Laporte was asked about City’s previous interest in him, saying: “It gives you security. I’m grateful because a big club valued me and put me at their level.”

It has been Jonny Evans who has been most frequently linked with a move to City, but should there be any truth to this new story, it may well be an old target who has moved to the top of Guardiola’s most wanted list this month.

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