Manchester City have reportedly set a lofty price to any club wishing to sign unsettled defender Aymeric Laporte this summer.
Laporte looked like one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League in his first 18 months or so after joining in January 2018. The former Athletic Bilbao defender went on to make 51 appearances in all competitions in the 2018-19 season. However, in the two years since then, injuries have halted his progress.
City struggled somewhat in his absence in the 2019-20 season, conceding their Premier League crown to Liverpool. Rather than putting their faith in Laporte upon his return, though, they spent big on Ruben Dias last summer.
It was a worthwhile investment, as Dias went on to be named the Premier League Player of the Season. But instead of Laporte playing alongside him at the back, his usual partner was a revitalised John Stones.
With Dias and Stones likely to start most City games next season, Laporte’s future has come into question. After switching international allegiance so he could represent Spain at Euro 2020, the France-born star could be about to change clubs as well.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have both registered their interest in acquiring his services. However, with finances tight at both clubs, a move back to LaLiga looks tricky.
Alternatively, Juventus have also been credited with a bid to sign Laporte. It would appear, however, they would prefer a loan deal, or even a swap deal, with finances tight.
City though are refusing to allow the Spain defender leave on the cheap. Indeed, as per the Daily Mail, City have told interested suitors it will cost a huge £60m if they want to prise Laporte away.
That would mean it appears unlikely Laporte will secure a move away any time soon with the price beyond the reaches of his suitors.
Furthermore, Pep Guardiola has no desire to sell the defender and fully intends to use him this season. Indeed, Laporte would be first in line for a start were either Dias or Stones to suffer injury or suspension.
Guardiola hints De Bruyne may need surgery
One man who is also pushing for an exit is Bernardo Silva.
The Portuguese star has dropped down the pecking order in recent times and has been touted as a possible target for Tottenham. However, he appears to have rejected a prospective move to North London.
Much of City’s decision whether to sell Silva or not will depend on Kevin De Bruyne.
The City talisman has been struggling with an ankle injury sustained during Euro 2020 over the summer.
He will miss out against Norwich once again on Saturday with Guardiola hinting the issue may need surgery.
“He has to be fit, he has to be good to play,” said Guardiola. “At a certain age they always have disturbing pain.”