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Manchester City to pay Aymeric Laporte’s release clause imminently, player will sign 5-year deal – report

Manchester City intend to trigger the €65million release clause of Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte ‘imminently’, Bruno Alemany of reputable Spanish outlet Cadena SER reports tonight.

City will pay the player’s clause on Friday and he will pen a five-year contract, going into the Champions League squad for the knockout stage.

Like an earlier report from Spain, it’s claimed that Pep Guardiola feels he only had two reliable centre-backs in Otamendi and Stones, with Kompany constantly injured and Mangala not well-suited to Guardiola’s style of football.

The only thing that could prevent the deal it seems is Laporte again deciding not to move, but you’d hope this time City are sure another U-turn won’t happen, and could soon welcome the highly-rated 23-year-old into their squad.

22:30 UPDATE: Another journalist, Nika Cuenca, reports that Laporte has agreed to join City despite Athletic’s attempts to convince him to stay. The defender couldn’t say “no” to Guardiola a second time, with Cuenca reporting that the transfer will be formalised next week.

22:32 UPDATE: Both Cadena COPE and Onda Cero are now also reporting that Laporte is City-bound!

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