Tottenham Hotspur have been confirmed as admirers of Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte in an update detailing who his replacement at the Etihad Stadium could be.
Laporte has fallen down the pecking order this season, with Pep Guardiola preferring to use Ruben Dias, John Stones, Manuel Akanji or Nathan Ake. Keen for his career not to fizzle out, the Spain international is now ready to look for a new challenge.
Tottenham have been tentatively linked with Laporte in recent weeks. Now, The Times has confirmed that Spurs are ‘monitoring’ his situation.
The same goes for Barcelona, who could take the former Athletic Club centre-half back to La Liga if finances allow.
Whichever exit route Laporte heads down, who his replacement will be seems to be getting clearer. According to The Times, Man City are preparing a move for RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol.
The Croatia international has become one of Europe’s most promising centre-backs. As a left-footer, he would be a like-for-like replacement for Laporte.
It will cost a lot of money for Man City to be able to sign Gvardiol, though. In an ideal world, RB Leipzig would be holding out for a transfer fee of €100million (£86.8m).
However, the report hints they might be under pressure to sell players this summer, which could lead to them lowering their asking price for Gvardiol.
Therefore, Man City can potentially start thinking about firming up their plans to sign the 21-year-old. First of all, though, they would have to clear space by offloading Laporte.
Laporte facing uncertain future before summer
There are still two years remaining on Laporte’s contract in Manchester. However, City have shown in recent years that they don’t stand in the way of unsettled players seeking new challenges.
Selling players to domestic rivals has been a risky strategy, though, given that Arsenal have pushed them close for the Premier League title this season after buying Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from them.
How City would feel about doing business with Tottenham – who won’t be in the Champions League next season – remains to be seen.
The general perception would be that Spurs aren’t really a threat to City for next season, but there will be some considerations for Pep Guardiola’s side to make anyway.
Besides, Laporte might prefer to join Barcelona if he can, since they will have Champions League football on offer. Only time will tell who can make a bid to convince City, though.
Once his future is clarified, City could step up their pursuit of Gvardiol, hoping to secure the services of someone who could become a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
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