Manchester City have agreed to meet Porto's massive €40m asking price for Eliaquim Mangala and are confident of wrapping a deal for the French central defender after the World Cup, but L'Equipe believe his heart his still set on joining Chelsea.
Mangala has been tracked by City for the best part of two years and continually impressed club scouts with commanding displays for Porto, but Etihad chiefs have previously been put off by an eye-watering valuation approaching £50m for one of Europe's most exciting talents.
City have considered moving on altogether in their search for Vincent Kompany's long-term partner at centre-back and asked Roma about Mehdi Benatia's availability earlier this week, although French sources believe Mangala is still their preferred target and as a result a formal offer has finally been launched.
World Cup focus
The 23-year-old is currently at the World Cup preparing for France's quarter-final clash with Germany, although is yet to feature for Les Blues in the tournament and is very much an understudy to Laurent Koscielny, Raphael Varane and Mamadou Sakho.
Mangala's future is very bright for club and country though and the Porto star has already amassed just shy of 200 senior appearances, with City seeing enough to consider the tall, powerful and technically gifted defender a future Premier League superstar.
City have already closed a deal for Porto midfield enforcer Fernadao this summer and want Mangala to be their second summer addition, but Manuel Pellegrini's men face a frustrating waiting game before being allowed to talk terms with the player over a move.
Pellegrini will likely be further angered by a delay on the deal which goes beyond Mangala's World Cup commitments, he's hoping Blues boss Jose Mourinho will hijack the move with an 11th hour offer as he would much prefer to be based in London if given the choice.
Mourinho is an admirer of the 6'2'' powerhouse but looks full stocked in central defence, particularly after deciding to hand John Terry a contract extension and signing Kurt Zouma as a long-term replacement, but Mangalaa will still delay any decision over his future for at least another fortnight in the hope Chelsea change their minds.