After a difficult two seasons at the Etihad, it seems Manchester City could be set to sell on Eliaquim Mangala, with Stoke City leading the race to snap up the big-name defender.
Mangala joined the Citizens for a reported £41.4m, following a stellar three seasons at Porto, where he led Dragoes to successive league titles, with the Portuguese giants conceding just 19 and 14 goals in the respective campaigns.
However, things haven’t gone to plan for the French international at Manchester City, with a number of disappointing displays, including a truly dismal performance in last season’s 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool.
And with the 25-year-old having not played a minute of football under new boss Pep Guardiola in the season’s opening trio of games, talk of an exit is intensifying – with Stoke the frontrunners for his signature.
Having secured an impressive ninth-placed finish last time out, Mark Hughes’ men have endured a difficult start to this campaign, including a 4-1 defeat to the Citizens, which appears to have pushed defensive recruits to the top of his priority list.
With Transfermarkt.co.uk estimating the player’s value at £19.55m, the Potters may have to spend big to bring the former Standard Liege man to Staffordshire. However, if Guardiola is looking to offload the player before the window closes, the savvy Hughes could be able to negotiate a better deal.
Stoke host Tottenham on Saturday, with 15/4 for the Potters looking for a third win in five meetings with the north London outfit.
But will the home side have the strength and skill of Mangala to call on next weekend?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing