Manchester City have edged closer to trumping both Manchester United and Chelsea in the transfer race for Eliaquim Mangala, after sources in France broke the news that they have agreed a €45million sum with Porto.
French newspaper Le 10 Sport states in no uncertain terms that Manuel Pellegrini and Co. are merely now waiting for Mangala to say yes to an Etihad switch for the mega-money to be completed, and that Chelsea have been out-priced. It’s thought that Jose Mourinho isn’t willing to match the large sum on the table, despite the fact that Mangala is believed to be angling for a transfer either to Stamford Bridge or Old Trafford.
CITY’S NEED FOR MANGALA
Having struggled to find a long-term partner for Vincent Kompany for a number of years now City will surely be hoping that Mangala is the answer to their problems. The fact that they are willing to invest so much money into his capture would infer that he is a player they are desperate to land, and at 23 he has plenty of years ahead of him in which to forge a strong partnership with City’s captain.
Joleon Lescott’s departure, coupled with the indifferent nature of Martin Demichelis and youngster Matija Nastasic, makes the need for Mangala all the more pertinent.
MANGALA WANTS UNITED OR CHELSEA
The main obstacle facing Pellegrini with regards to convincing the France international to agree terms lies in his supposed longing to move to United or Chelsea. Only last week reports emerged detailing how Mangala will reject City’s advances in the hope that their main Premier League rivals will enter the fray, but with Mourinho set to rule out a move the onus now falls on Louis van Gaal.
The Dutchman is also looking to land a new centre-back this summer, and with deals for Mats Hummels and Thomas Vermaelen looking increasingly unlikely, Mangala could be of interest.
VAN GAAL’S AMBITIONS
Focusing on United it has become imperative that Van Gaal lands a top quality defender before the start of his maiden campaign. The departures of both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have left a gaping hole in the Red Devils back line, and Mangala’s dominant presence could go some way to alleviating that particular woe.
His relative inexperience outside of the Portuguese league will concern those who don’t deem him ready for the big time, but there’s few others in Europe who now carry the reputation he does thanks to his impressive career with Porto.