City break transfer record to sign Laporte
Manchester City have signed Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for a club record fee of £57 million. The 23 year old has agreed a five year contract and is now the second most expensive defender in the world after Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk. City manager Pep Guardiola had come close to signing the former France Under-21 international in the summer of 2016 but Laporte decided to stay with Athletic.
City have the third best defence in the Premier League this season which is mainly down to their recruitment last summer. Goalkeeper Ederson has proved to be a massive upgrade on Claudio Bravo and Kyle Walker has settled in at right back straight away. Guardiola has gone with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as his preferred central defensive pairing when fit but when Stones was sidelined, City were left with a lack of decent cover. Vincent Kompany isn't reliable for fitness reasons and Eliaquim Mangala just isn't reliable.
Laporte fits into the way City play under Guardiola and it's not a bad time to bring him into the squad. City could have the Premier League title wrapped up with some games to spare so he could get some game time in the league before the end of the season.
Laporte told the club's website: "I am very happy to be here. City are a club with a lot of ambition and they are one of the best teams in Europe.
"I am looking forward to working under Pep Guardiola and trying to help the club to achieve success.
"It means a lot that the club have shown faith in me and I am excited to get started."
Pep Guardiola also confirmed that Leroy Sané will be out for around six weeks having suffered ankle ligament damage in the 2-0 FA Cup victory over Cardiff.