Manchester City are reportedly preparing a mega-deal to sign Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala. The Premier League side have had a long-standing interest in the defender and reportedly even had a bid for the 22-year old rejected in the summer.
Despite being rebuffed in their attempts of signing Mangala, City have been closely monitoring the defender’s progress and it is believed that manager Manuel Pellegrini had sent scouts to keep a close eye on the Frenchman on more than one occasion over the course of the current campaign.
With Joleon Lescott set to leave the club and Martin Demichelis entering the twilight of his career, Pellegrini has reportedly identified Mangala as a potential long-term partner to Vincent Kompany at the heart of the City defence.
City do posses a promising young defender in the form of Mateja Nastasic but with the Serbian being troubled by persistent injury problems and still developing as a player, Mangala would be a better option as he is considered more of a finished product than Nastasic.
According to some reports, City are now ready to break the club record and meet Mangala’s release clause of around £38million to bring the defender to the Etihad Stadium before the conclusion of the transfer window in a couple of days. Although City have been enjoying a fine season so far, Pellegrini is looking to bolster his squad as his side chase an unprecedented quadruple this season.
Mangala started his career at Belgian side Standard Liège where he flourished during his three year stay at the club. The defender then moved to Porto last season, reportedly rejecting the advances of a couple of Premier League sides.
After initially struggling at the Estádio do Dragão, the defender has been able to firmly establish himself as the first choice centre back at the club and has made 22 appearances for the Dragons this season. The 22-year old has made one appearance for the French National team, in a friendly against Uruguay last year.
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