Manchester City are close to sign Bilbao center-back Laporte before the close of the transfer window next week after the Athletic Bilbao centre-half signalled his desire to join the Premier League leaders, 18 months after turning his back on a planned move to the club.
City are thought to be happy to match the defender’s £57million release clause and negotiations with the centre-back are now taking place.And the addition of the 23-year-old would break City’s current transfer record of £55m, which they paid for Kevin De Bruyne in 2015.
Manchester City are close to sign Bilbao center-back for a £57m deal soon.
But the 23-year old turned down a move to the Etihad, and has remained of interest to a number of top clubs across Europe including Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea.
Athletic have tried to persuade Laporte to stay until the summer but the defender has indicated he wishes to move to City now at the second time of asking, with Pep Guardiola determined to bolster his central defence this month.
Given the complexities of Spanish buy-out clauses, City are rushing to ensure the deal is formally completed by next Wednesday’s transfer deadline. If Laporte joins, as anticipated, it will take Guardiola’s spending to almost £450 m in just under 20 months at City.
Laporte appeared to emerge as City’s top target after they missed out on signing Alexis Sanchez, for whom they were prepared to pay £20m.
City had also shown interest in West Brom’s Jonny Evans, Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez and Leicester defender Harry Maguire.