Manchester City are set to make a £30million move for Eliaquim Mangala when the January transfer window opens, according to reports.
The Daily Star claims Manuel Pellegrini has set his sights on the 22-year-old, and will look to beat Chelsea, Barcelona and local rivals Manchester United to the signature.
Mangala emerged as a late target for the Citizens at the end of the transfer window, and the club made an approach for the player just before the deadline.
However, Porto didn’t want to sell and not have time to replace the player, the paper claims, and so Manchester City were forced to look elsewhere.
Pellegrini brought Martin Demichelis to the Etihad Stadium, but the 32-year-old picked up a serious knee injury during his first week with the club, and isn’t close to the Citizens first team at this stage.
Barcelona are the latest club to be linked with the player, having missed out on David Luiz in the transfer window.
Gerardo Martino has an ageing backline at the Nou Camp, and Mangala would be a signing for the future in Catalonia.
Manchester United, meanwhile, had a summer transfer window to forget after David Moyes failed to bring a number of top targets to Old Trafford.
The Red Devils did manage to land Marouane Fellaini to bolster their midfield, although the addition of Guillermo Varela is more a look to the future for the Premier League champions.
Mangala would add depth to the Manchester United defence if Moyes was to make a move in January, providing competition for the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was among the big spenders in the summer, with Willian and Samuel Eto’o just two of the players bolstering the ranks at Stamford Bridge.
However, ‘the special one’ didn’t make changes at his backline, and given his connection to the Estadio do Dragao, it’s no surprise to see a player from the Portuguese giants linked with a move to the Blues.
Chelsea already have John Terry, Gary Cahill and Luiz as their regular defensive options, but again Mangala would give the manager another option in the New Year if his signature is pursued.