Let’s be honest here, Manchester City’s defence has been pretty ropey this season.
For all the Citizen’s beautiful attacking football and formidable offensive arsenal, their back four has let them down time and time again. You only need to look at their 4-2 defeat to Leicester City to identify the underlying issues.
Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola could be poised to do something about it. In fact, he could be turning to a failed summer target as means of shoring up the club’s defence.
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While Manchester City explored a fair number of moves last summer, Aymeric Laporte endured as one of the most frequented names. That being said, there was never any great reason to suggest Guardiola got close to getting his hands on the player.
The ex-Barcelona boss isn’t willing to give up that easily though. According to the Mirror, City will make a second raid on the Athletic Bilbao man in spite of his dizzying £55 million release clause.
It proves a hearty fee for a man who is yet to make his full international debut and has very limited Champions League experience.
The two-time Premier League champions had a £39 million move lined up before the start of the season which bore no fruit.
This failed attempt and his increase in value since has only served to incentivise the transfer further, however.
Perhaps the biggest influence on this rediscovered interest in Laporte has been the recent updates on attempts to sign Virgil van Dijk. The Citizens had immerged as one of the frontrunners to sign the Southampton man.
However, the Saints have slapped a £50 million asking price on the ex-Celtic defender and are determined not to sell.
Therefore, the Mirror is reporting that Guardiola believes Laporte would give City more for their money. This is despite the fact Van Dijk has more Premier League experience and would cost them less.
Perhaps it is clear that the Spaniard feels a move for the Southampton man is now so unrealistic that he must look elsewhere.
Whether it is Laporte or Van Dijk or whoever, there can be no denying that City must do something about their defensive woes.
John Stones will undoubtedly prove a superb long-term investment, yet his game is riddled with mistakes in the present. Furthermore, the deployment of Aleksandr Kolarov at centre-back is nothing short of baffling.
Consequently, a move for Laporte can’t do any harm. With a fee as high as £55 million though, the pressure on the 22-year-old to cut it in the Premier League would be utterly immense.
Given the amount of money being thrown around in Chinese football, however, who could blame City for spending a comparatively poultry amount?
Do you think Aymeric Laporte is worth £55 million? Have YOUR say in the comment box below