Elite star Man City will sell becomes ‘preferred’ option for Chelsea board with price tag ‘not a problem’

Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte

After TEAMtalk recently revealed a Manchester City defender could leave in the summer, another reporter has revealed Chelsea are in contention to sign him.

Graeme Bailey told us earlier this month that Aymeric Laporte wants to leave Man City at the end of the season. The defender has made his decision clear to his current employers after falling down Pep Guardiola’s pecking order. Indeed, he has only started six Premier League matches this season.

At the time, we were informed that Laporte’s preferred destination would be Barcelona. Indeed, it is a common transfer route that he could follow the likes of Ferran Torres and Eric Garcia by taking.

But now, another reporter, SportItalia‘s Rudy Galetti, has revealed that Laporte is also on Chelsea’s radar.

Writing in a column for Tribal Football, Galetti said: “Chelsea, to make the future brighter, are already thinking about the transfer market for next season and are paying attention to the role of centre-back.

“There are several names on the list, but at the moment there seem to be two profiles preferred by the management, Jose Gimenez (Atletico Madrid) and Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City).

“The contract of both players will expire in 2025 and in the summer the respective clubs could decide to take into consideration incoming offers, if considered appropriate.

“In this sense, Chelsea already showed in January that the price tag set by the clubs is not a problem. That’s why anything could really happen in the summer on the centre-back market.”

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Chelsea consider Laporte as defence evolves

Aymeric Laporte stood in the rain

As Galetti alluded to, Chelsea showcased themselves as big spenders during the January transfer window, just like the summer before.

Defender Benoit Badiashile was among their recruits for £33million, but they might not be finished reinforcing in his territory.

TEAMtalk understands that summer signing Kalidou Koulibaly could also be at risk of leaving, even if the player himself has suggested he could stay.

Hence, it would be interesting to see them invest in Laporte. They have already tried to do business with City before in recent windows, though their attempts to take Nathan Ake back last summer failed.

Now, they may have more of a chance of prising Laporte, who will turn 29 in May, away from the Etihad Stadium.

As a left-footed centre-back, Laporte would bring some balance to the Chelsea backline. From their current crop in that department, only Badiashile favours the same foot.

The other potential target, Gimenez, is also 28, but is right footed. Perhaps he would have a better chance of featuring alongside Badiashile, rather than competing with him for the same place.

But Laporte is the one with Premier League experience – and plenty of it – so could be a smart signing in his own right.

That said, Chelsea may have to put together a convincing pitch to prevent him choosing Barcelona instead. Whether they would have a clearer run at Gimenez or not remains to be seen.

Coincidentally, Laporte is not the only player who might move between City and Chelsea this summer. TEAMtalk has been told that one of Potter’s current defenders could make a transfer in the opposite direction.