The January transfer window has been strangely quiet for Manchester City so far, but the silence is about to be shattered as the quadruple-chasers aim to match their £38m transfer record by signing Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala.
Frenchman Mangala, has also been the subject of great interest from Manchester United and Paris-St Germain, though the Citizens will use their mighty financial muscle to blow the other clubs out of the reckoning on deadline day.
And not content with swooping for Mangala, the Premier League leaders are also trying to raid the Portuguese club for their defensive midfielder Fernando,26, for around £7m to bring the total bid up to the £45m mark.
If this double-deal can be closed before the transfer window, it would send out a klaxon of intent to their title rivals ahead of their crunch clash with Chelsea – where City are the 4/5 favourites to continue their 100 per cent home record with victory.
At only 22, Mangala has already forged a reputation as a fearsome defender, boasting pace, technically ability and a physical presence beyond his years.
For this reason he has attracted interest from all around the continent, and Manuel Pellegrini is so impressed he’s willing to pay the same amount as the club forked out on cult hero Sergio Aguero, when they brought the Argentine in from Atletico Madrid.
Goals have clearly not been a problem for City this season, but it’s been muted for some time that the missing piece of the jigsaw is another top class centre-back to play alongside Vincent Kompany.
Meanwhile, Fernando – who is out of contract in the summer at Porto – is also a defensively minded midfielder who could provide decent cover for Yaya Toure and Fernandinho.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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