Man City eye record bid for French defender Laporte: reports

London (AFP) - Highly-regarded French defender Aymeric Laporte could become runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City's record signing according to British media reports on Thursday.

Man City eye record bid for French defender Laporte: reports

Man City eye record bid for French defender Laporte: reports

The 23-year-old centre-back -- who has been at Athletic Bilbao since he was 16 -- would cost City £57million ($81million) owing to a release clause in his contract at Bilbao but would resolve a problematic area for manager Pep Guardiola where veteran Vincent Kompany is injury-prone and Frenchman Eliaquim Mangala has not impressed.

Laporte -- whose move reportedly would be dependent on Mangala moving on -- would provide cover for present first-choice pairing England international John Stones and Argentinian Nicolas Otamendi.

According to The Sun and the BBC, Guardiola favours investing that amount in Laporte -- who has yet to win a senior France cap though he was called up for two 2018 World Cup qualifiers -- than spending around £24million on rivals West Bromwich Albion's 30-year-old Northern Irish central defender Jonny Evans.

City's current transfer record is £55million. They paid VfL Wolfsburg for Belgian international Kevin de Bruyne in 2015.

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