Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

End of an era at Man City as PSG line up four-time Prem winner and two others face ruthless Guardiola axe

Man City stars Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez

Man City stars Kyle Walker, Manuel Akanji, Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez

One department of Pep Guardiola’s squad could experience major change this summer, with PSG lining up the wantaway Aymeric Laporte and two other defenders facing uncertain futures, per reports.

It’s been a chastening season for Laporte who has gone from guaranteed starter to elephant in the room. The 28-year-old has four Premier League titles and nine major honours to his name since arriving from Athletic Bilbao for £57m back in 2018.

However, Guardiola has favoured Nathan Ake when it comes to left-footed centre-halves this season, while the shift to a 3-2-4-1 formation hasn’t helped Laporte either.

The end result has seen Laporte make just seven Premier League starts this season. He’s been an unused substitute in six of City’s last seven league outings.

Speculation has begun to swirl Laporte wants out at season’s end. The Daily Mail recently reported Man City ‘will not stand in Laporte’s way’ if he decides enough is enough.

Barcelona have been linked, though the fact Laporte will cost a transfer fee is likely to see Xavi’s side miss out. His contract in Manchester has another two years left to run.

Elsewhere, a shock switch to soon-to-be Champions League contenders Newcastle has been ‘ruled out’ by the player, Instead, a blockbuster switch to French giant PSG could be on the cards.

That’s according to L’Equipe (as cited by the Daily Mail), who report the Parisian side are ‘lining up a bid’ for Laporte.

PSG are in the market for a left-sided centre-half this summer and Laporte is one of two players they’ve fixing their gaze on. The other is Lucas Hernandez of Bayern Munich.

Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar has already committed to joining PSG as a free agent at season’s end. However, PSG are determined to persist with Christophe Galtier’s 3-5-2 formation and Laporte would be able to fill in either as the middle centre-back or on the left of the three.

In the event Laporte does leave Man City, he might not be the only established defender to do so.

Kyle Walker, Joao Cancelo could also leave Man City

Beyond Laporte, the future of Kyle Walker is also coming under the microscope.

Guardiola has publicly admitted the 3-2-4-1 formation does not suit his veteran right-back who is forced to deputise as a centre-back in the system.

Walker is out of contract at the end of next season and if a new deal isn’t going to be offered, a sale this summer makes sense.

Aston Villa and Walker’s boyhood club, Sheffield Utd, have been linked. The Blades recently achieved promotion back to the Premier League.

A third high profile defender who could depart is Joao Cancelo.

The Portuguese was ruthlessly loaned out to Bayern Munich in January in one of the window’s most surprising moves.

His absence clearly hasn’t impacted City in a negative way with Guardiola’s side on course for a superb treble.

Reporter Ben Jacobs previously told TEAMtalk Cancelo may have played his last ever match for City

“Man City are going to be looking at a left-back, that’s for sure, because Joao Cancelo doesn’t seem particularly intent on coming back,” said Jacobs in March.

“It’s only a loan deal but there’s a very strong possibility that he doesn’t play another game for Man City after falling out with Pep Guardiola.”

Bayern have an option to buy in Cancelo’s loan deal worth a hefty €70m. The Bavarians won’t trigger such a costly option, though Cancelo’s future does appear to lay away from the Etihad nonetheless.

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