Tuesday 20 March 2018

Man City look to beat United to the signature of Porto star

Porto's French defender Eliaquim Mangala
Porto's French defender Eliaquim Mangala


At 22, Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala is regarded as a long-term partner at Manchester City for Vincent Kompany.

Manchester City are attempting to thwart Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain by agreeing a £38 million deal for Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala before Friday's transfer deadline.

Although City manager Manuel Pellegrini had been prepared to avoid transfer business this month, the prospect of avoiding a summer bidding war with United and PSG for France international Mangala has seen the Premier League leaders make an eleventh-hour move for the highly-rated centre-half.

While the chances of completing a deal for Mangala before tomorrow's 11pm deadline are understood to be slim, City are nonetheless investigating the possibility of striking an agreement with Porto.

At 22, Mangala is regarded as a long-term partner at City for Vincent Kompany, but United manager David Moyes has also identified the player as a potential replacement for the ageing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at Old Trafford.

Meanwhile, City are also making an attempt to secure the services of Porto's Brazilian midfielder Fernando.

City have been quoted a fee of €15 million (£12.4m) if they want to sign Fernando, who took out Portuguese citizenship only last month, before the window closes.

Offers have been tabled by Monaco and CSKA Moscow but is believed Fernando would prefer to move to City.

However, City sources last night played down suggestions from Portugal that a deal was close to being agreed.

Fernando's current contract is believed to expire this summer and, although if he left this month it would damage Porto's chances of winning the league, the club would not want him to leave for free.

It could be that Porto strike a deal for Fernando to remain with them for the remainder of the season - although he is entitled to sign a pre-contract agreement if he wants - or they could try and persuade the buying club to give them a replacement either through a permanent deal or on loan.

There were suggestions last night that Porto might ask for City to either loan or sell them Javi Garcia, the former Benfica midfielder who has struggled to secure a regular first-team place.

The 26-year-old Spaniard joined City from the Portuguese club, Porto's biggest rivals, in Aug 2012 for close to £16m.


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