Manchester City ready to activate £57m buyout clause for Aymeric Laporte
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TOP STORY: City given green light for Laporte
Manchester City have been given a positive response from Aymeric Laporte in their search for a new centre-back, claims the Telegraphwith a deal now expected to be completed before next week’s deadline.
The Athletic Bilbao star is available at his buy-out clause of £57 million and with the 23-year-old open to moving to the Premier League, the Blues are now able to push ahead without negotiating a fee with the Basque club.
Pep Guardiola is keen to acquire a new centre-back as Vincent Kompany and John Stones have suffered injuries this term. Eliaquim Mangala and Stones, since returning from injury, have both looked shaky.
Laporte’s development has stagnated in recent years, though City will hope a fresh start can reinvigorate him again, with an added bonus of Champions League availability for the club in the knockout stages.
Athletic identify Laporte replacements
Should City swoop in and pay up Laporte’s buyout clause, Athletic Bilbao will move for one of two targets, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Basque club would ideally like Inigo Martinez but fear negotiations would be hostile given their rivalry with Real Sociedad. That could also lead to an enquiry for Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal.
And with only 18 months to run on his contract and at 31 years of age, Arsenal may not have a better opportunity to recoup some value on Monreal, a player Arsene Wenger called the team’s “silent leader” after a Carabao Cup win over Chelsea on Wednesday.
Two in, one out at Inter Milan
Inter Milan are ready for a busy end to the transfer window with arrivals and departures at the San Siro.
Javier Pastore’s move from Paris Saint-Germain appears imminent now, reports Tuttosportwith Daniel Sturridge next on the list of targets.
The Liverpool striker may join on an initial loan, while Joao Mario is reportedly set for the exit. West Ham will take the Portuguese midfielder as Luciano Spalletti reshuffles his squad in pursuit of a top-four place this season.
Baba set for Schalke return
Schalke are ready to re-sign Baba Rahman from Chelsea on loan, claims the Mail.
Antonio Conte is craving cover for Marcos Alonso on the left side this month, yet Rahman has not been considered as an option.
Despite the Ghanaian left-back having now being recovered from a knee ligament injury, the Blues are set to sign Roma’s Emerson Palmieri instead, meaning he will be free to leave on loan.
The 24-year-old had offers from Inter Milan and Everton, but the familiar surroundings of the Bundesliga appear to have been the deciding factor.
– Juventus are to step up their efforts to sign Genoa wonder kid Pietro Pellegriwith Gianluca Di Marzio reporting an opening offer of €20m is incoming.
Monaco are also keen on the 16-year-old who became the youngest player to take the field in Serie A history in 2016.
– Barcelona will face competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco for Gremio star Arthurclaims Sport.
The Brazil-born midfielder is fresh from winning the Copa Libertadores and was even pictured recently with a Barca shirt, with the 21-year-old now set to make his first stop in Europe.
– Napoli will sign Ajax star Amin Younes this month, as opposed to in the summer, reports Corriere dello Sport.
The German winger’s contract has six months left, but the Partenopei will pay €4m plus €1m in bonuses to have his services early to aid their battle for the Scudetto.
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