Manchester City have struggled this season under Pep Guardiola and the weekend’s draw with Tottenham Hotspur, where the Citizens threw away a two-goal lead, is further evidence of their struggles.
Despite spending more money than anybody else in the summer transfer window, City have failed to find consistent form this season and a number of their first-team players have struggled to impress.
Sergio Aguero, despite finding the net often, is far off his best and the issues at the back have been clear to see, with Claudio Bravo facing a wealth of criticism for his performances and John Stones has not faired much better.
Of the contingent already present at the club in defence last season, Nicolas Otamendi has also struggled for consistency whilst captain Vincent Kompany is a forgotten man as the Belgian has remained absent through a wealth of injury problems.
In the end, City can look back at their frustrations as coming down to one thing – their failure to land long-term target Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao in the summer.
The Frenchman elected to remain at the club where he made his name, signing a new deal and raising his buy-out clause to a whopping €65m.
Whilst the rise in price won’t be a major concern to City, who have money pouring out their ears, increased competition is an issue.
Laporte will expect to play Champions League football for his next club and City face a battle to land a top-four spot in the Premier League – and they’ll likely have to fend off interest from a wealth of other top-sides in the market.
Barcelona are long-term admirers of Laporte and may swoop for the French defender, with Gerard Pique turning 30 next month and Javier Mascherano hitting 33 in the summer, whilst French giants Paris Saint-Germain could also eye a move.
On top of that, there’s also the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea to be wary of, with the Citizens running the risk on missing out on a 22-year-old defender who already boasts an immense amount of experience.
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