Pep Guardiola ready to sanction exit of Man City man after opening talks with top target

Ciaran McCarthy
Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City, April 2021

Manchester City are reportedly ‘planning to accept offers’ for Aymeric Laporte this summer if they can snare a ‘top-class defender’, after they opened talks with Josko Gvardiol.

Last season, Laporte was a fixture of the City side. Indeed, he played 33 times in the Premier League, as the Citizens won the title for the second year straight.

That followed a couple of seasons in which he sat out often due to injury. That’s been similar this season – Laporte has played 12 times in the league, which represents the lowest tally of his career.

However, it’s not due to injury, rather Pep Guardiola deciding that the other options he has at his disposal are more deserving of a place in the side, which might seem odd after the defender’s large role last season.

It seems Guardiola has now decided he doesn’t need Laporte at all. Football Insider reports the Etihad outfit are ‘planning to accept offers’ for the centre-back if they ‘succeed in bringing in a top-class defender’.

The top target in the position is RB Leipzig man Gvardiol. He’s been heavily linked with the club for some time and reports of late have stated they’re looking to ‘firm up interest and make a move’.

Football Insider reinforces that Gvardiol is the main man that City want. Another report from the outlet states they ‘have held initial talks’ over the snare of the centre-back.

They state City are expected to ‘step up their pursuit’ after the Champions League final. City are also reportedly ‘confident of agreeing a deal’ for him.

While no fee is mentioned, £87million seems to be the required figure, as per previous reports.

Laporte is unlikely to cost close to that. He signed for in the region of £57million, but that was more than five years ago, when he was at the top of his game.

He’s clearly still a useful asset, just not what Guardiola is looking for in his side. He’ll not be short of suitors, with Aston Villa and Tottenham both linked.

That he’s got a couple of year left on his contract and two sizeable Premier League sides on his tail means City will likely receive a chunk of what they paid for him, but not a massive one.

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