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Guardiola reportedly takes a step closer to bolstering defensive ranks – report

Manchester City supporters were in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern over the weekend after seeing their side get back to winning ways in the Premier League courtesy of a 3-1 success over struggling Newcastle United on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola’s men went into their clash with the Magpies off the back of a first defeat of the campaign at the hands of Liverpool in their preceding clash, thus bringing to an end their remarkable 22-match unbeaten start to the season. Yet the Citizens didn’t dwell on that disappointment too much as a hat-trick from Sergio Aguero secured them a comfortable victory over Rafa Benitez’s side, in turn maintaining their 12-point lead over neighbours Manchester United at the summit.

Subsequently, there have been many thrilled City fans in the Tavern in the last few days, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by a recent report from Cadena Sur (via talkSPORT), which suggests that their side could be about to bolster their defensive ranks with the signing of Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte.

The 23-year-old came up through the ranks at the Spanish outfit to earn his senior debut for the club back in 2012, from which he has since added 221 more to underline his importance to the La Liga side.

And with appearances in all but one of their league games this term, the former France Under-21 international continues to go from strength to strength, to the point that Guardiola seemingly wants the centre-back at the Etihad Stadium.

And recent reports suggest that the Premier League leaders are willing to meet Laporte’s £58 million release clause, as the City chief seeks to bolster his defensive ranks given the fitness uncertainty surrounding Vincent Kompany, as well as the more general uncertainty surrounding the capabilities of Eliaquim Mangala.

But whether the Citizens can indeed get a deal done between now and January 31 remains to be seen.

Landlord’s verdict: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola made it clear a few weeks back that he could seek to land a defender this month, what with concerns mounting over Vincent Kompany’s fitness, while Eliaquim Mangala has done little to show that he could step up when needed.

And that has seemingly led the City chief towards Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte, who has impressed in the heart of their backline for some time now, and at the age of 23 looks destined by a huge future in the game.

And that potential could be realised at the Etihad Stadium as recent reports suggest that the Citizens could be about to meet his £58 million release clause, in a move which would certainly bolster Guardiola’s defensive ranks heading into the second half of the season.

Man City fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!

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