Manchester City are set to spend big in the summer, and highly-rated Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte has emerged as a key transfer target, according to Goal.com.
Like that of manager Manuel Pellegrini, the future of many of the playing staff at the Etihad Stadium is uncertain, particularly in the aftermath of their dramatic slide out of title contention.
The champions’ defence has come under constant scrutiny this season, with Vincent Kompany said to be below his best while Eliaquim Mangala – signed for £32m last summer from FC Porto – has struggled to impose himself and as a result has won few admirers so far in England.
Laporte has been watched several times this season by Man City scouts, with director of football Txiki Begiristain believed to hold the French U-21 international in high regard. This is the youngster’s second season as a regular in the Bilbao defence, and he has scored two goals in 96 senior appearances for the club in all competitions.
City believe that they would be able to secure a deal for Laporte at £25m, which is some way below the £30m buyout clause that was included in the player’s contract last summer, when he opted to commit his future to the Spanish club until 2018.
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