Manchester City are set to clinch the signature of Eliaquim Mangala ahead of Chelsea in the next two days, after a lengthy bout of negotiations.
The Daily Mail relays how Manuel Pellegrini is confident of completing a deal for the France international within the next 48 hours, as he looks to find a long-term partner for club captain Vincent Kompany. It’s been apparent for some time now that Mangala would indeed step into that role, though at numerous points in the last few months it had seemed as though Porto’s financial demands could scupper a deal at the eleventh hour.
Now though it would seem as though City have consented to pay the £32million the Primera Liga giants are after, and Mangala will join up with his new teammates before the start of the new season. The 23-year-old was scheduled to return to training with Porto today following his protracted break after France’s World Cup venture, but an agreement is reportedly imminent.
Man City’s need
There can be no understating the importance of Mangala moving to the Etihad, particularly as Pellegrini looks to ensure that his side are capable of retaining their English crown. Though the Citizens have never looked anything other than scintillating going forward there has remained question marks over their defensive capabilities in recent years, and Kompany has been used alongside numerous partners as a result.
However, whereas Matija Nastasic, Joleon Lescott and Martin Demichelis have never really excited City fans, Mangala is a player of genuine promise, and the fact that they’re beating rivals Chelsea to his signature makes the deal all the more sweet.
Despite the fact that he was an unused backup option at the World Cup the Porto ace has a burgeoning reputation in Europe, and his solid performances in Portugal have seen him acclaimed as one to watch for the future.
Put plainly City’s gain is Chelsea’s loss. Though John Terry will undoubtedly be every bit as reliable this campaign as he has been for the entirety of his Stamford Bridge career, it’s no secret that Jose Mourinho is in the market for a younger model to partner Gary Cahill.
Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane is widely touted as another option, though his importance at the Santiago Bernabeu makes a transfer very unlikely.
As such Mangala represented a real chance for Chelsea to get their hands on a top young talent who has years to give.
Will they regret not putting up more of a fight for his signature?