Manchester City look to have identified a new centre-back target after being beaten to the post by Liverpool for the signature of Virgil Van Dijk earlier in the January window.
The league leaders, who bounced back from their first defeat of the season in the league with a win away to Newcastle, are looking to strengthen their options at the back with only four recognised centre-backs currently on the books. John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, Eliaquim Mangala and the injury-ravaged Vincent Kompany make up Pep Guardiola's options at the heart of his defence and it looks like he is set to add to that in January.
According to The Sun, City is considering lodging a massive £60 million bid for Atletic Blibao centre-back Aymeric Laporte. Guardiola is said to be a long-term admirer of the young French-born defender and is keen to finally get his man in the January window.
Laporte, who has grown from strength to strength during his five years in the Bilbao first team, is available if his release clause of £60 million is matched, but it seems that City could face some hefty competition for the in-demand 23-year-old.
With Chelsea, Barcelona, Manchester United and PSG all said to be interested in Laporte, City will have to make a pretty attractive offer in order to land the Frenchman.
Having already missed out on Van Dijk and more recently Alexis Sanchez, Guardiola will be desperate to get this one over the line and avoid being left red-faced again.
Laporte has been labelled one of the most exciting prospects in Europe, having recently been called up into Didier Deschamps French squad. The fact that he will be eligible to represent City in the Champions League knock-out stages as well, makes him an all the more attractive option for a club looking to conquer Europe for the first time in their history.
West Brom defender Jonny Evans has been another name linked with a move to the Etihad as Guardiola looks to add strength in depth at the back. The former Manchester United defender could be available for just £3 million in the summer should West Brom get relegated, but with interest from Arsenal, City might just move for the veteran defender.
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