Manchester City eye Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala to bolster back line – but face £38million price tag

By Tim Hyde

Big spenders Manchester City are poised to make a late move for young and talented French defender Eliaquim Mangala – for a predicted wallet-busting £30million.

Manuel Pellegrini is looking to bolster his back-line once again and is reporter to be enquiring about the 22-year-old Porto defender.

City are unlikely to be willing to fork-out Mangala’s £38million release clause and are thought to value the player at nearer £30million – which may not be enough to see the Frenchman move to the Etihad.  

But if accepted, the huge fee would take their total summer spending up to the staggering £120million mark.

City’s interest in the French international, who has been capped three times, has been long-standing with the Blues Chilean manager a known admirer.

Mangala’s talents were first brought to light while at Standard Liege in Belgium where he earned himself a move to Porto for €6.5million on August 16 2011.

Pellegrini is particularly keen to strengthen his rear-guard after his talismanic captain Vincent Kompany incurred a serious groin injury in City’s curtain opener against Newcastle.

The influential centre-back’s injury has prompted a wide search, which seems to have centred on Mangala, who is under contract at Porto until 2016.

To solve the Blues’ defensive vulnerabilities Pellegrini has called upon his former player Martin Demichelis to transfer to the Etihad in a £4million deal that is expected to be completed soon.

The Citizens looked defensively susceptible at the weekend in their loss to newly promoted Cardiff 3-2.

With the World Cup less than a year away, Mangala will be hoping for a place on the plane to Rio – and a transfer to Manchester City may be the best way to book himself a seat.

Picture courtesy of Clément Bucco-Lechat, with thanks.

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