Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

End of an era, as Man City accept Saudi offer for demoted star who’s ‘open’ to Cristiano Ronaldo link-up

Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte has been the subject of a successful offer by Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr, according to reports.

Laporte fell down the pecking order at centre-back for Man City last season and the subsequent arrival of another left-footed defender in the shape of Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig has all but confirmed his days are numbered at the Etihad Stadium.

Arsenal have been linked with Laporte, but it is Al-Nassr from the Saudi Pro League who have made a bid – and Man City have accepted it, according to The Athletic expert David Ornstein.

While it is not yet clear how much the bid is worth, it has been enough to tempt the treble winners. Furthermore, Laporte himself is said to be ‘open’ to the opportunity of moving to the Middle East.

By joining Al-Nassr, he would become teammates with Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane and Alex Telles. They have also signed Marcelo Brozovic and Seko Fofana during their spending spree this summer.

Laporte could earn a lucrative deal in Riyadh. As things stand, there are two years remaining on his contract in Manchester, but his spell there could be coming to an end.

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Laporte has 180 appearances to his name for Man City, but only 24 of those came last season after he began the campaign with an injury.

At the age of 29, it could be time for him to embark on a new challenge in Saudi Arabia.

Laporte to add to Al-Nassr rebuild

Al-Nassr recently lost their opening game of the Saudi Pro League season to Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq. It was business as usual for Man City, meanwhile, as they began the Premier League campaign with a win over Vincent Kompany’s Burnley.

Next on the agenda for Pep Guardiola’s side is the Super Cup against Sevilla tonight. It remains to be seen if Laporte – who came on as a late substitute against Burnley but sat out the Community Shield against Arsenal before that – will be involved after Man City’s decision about his future.

In addition to Gvardiol, the Premier League champions can also call upon Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias, John Stones and Manuel Akanji as their main centre-backs, effectively making Laporte surplus to requirements despite the high regard in which he was held before.

Coincidentally, his links with Arsenal were recently amplified when Gabriel Magalhaes was linked with a Saudi switch himself. But instead, Laporte appears to be the player with the concrete chance of going to the Gulf state.

Interestingly, Al-Nassr have also been tipped to take Clement Lenglet from Barcelona after his loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur. Therefore, they could have two high-profile left-footed centre-backs in their squad soon.

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