Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte is reportedly willing to leave the Etihad Stadium this summer and join Barcelona. Since joining the Citizens from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018, the 28-year-old has made 174 appearances in all competitions.
With the Sky Blues, Laporte has won 11 trophies, including four Premier League crowns. Laporte was a first-team regular under Pep Guardiola last season, making 44 appearances.
But he has subsequently dropped down the pecking order this season, starting only seven Premier League games. Due to a knee injury, the Spain international missed the first two months of the season.
Thereafter, he has failed to force his way into the starting lineup ahead of Ruben Dias, John Stones, Manuel Akanji, & Nathan Ake. Since the beginning of February, Laporte has only been in six of City’s past 17 games in all competitions.
Thus, the defender is said to be upset by his lack of regular game time. Laporte recently hinted to his future at Manchester City by posting a cryptic statement on social media that read:
“After the rain, a rainbow; after a storm, the calm; and after an end, a new beginning.”
The defender is under contract at the Etihad until June 2025, but it is understood that he wants to leave this summer. While Manchester City are willing to let the Spaniard leave if Barcelona puts up a decent offer.
Aymeric Laporte to push for a move to Barcelona
According to Relevo, Laporte believes his time in the Premier League has come to an end and that he wants to return to Spain, with Barcelona being his favourite destination.
According to the source, Laporte is willing to take a pay cut to join the cash-strapped Catalan giants, who may want to trade Andreas Christensen to free up funds.
Furthermore, Laporte is thought to be unrepresented after quitting the Wasserman representation firm in November, and has since held conversations with Arturo Canales, who presently represents Barcelona head coach Xavi.
Barcelona has been heavily associated with Laporte for some time, but it remains to be seen whether they can afford to sign the Spaniard this summer after La Liga president Javier Tebas said earlier this year that they need to raise £177 million before considering adding new players.
Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus, and Roma have all been linked with Laporte, but the defender is thought to prefer a move to Camp Nou.
Pep Guardiola is said to have selected RB Leipzig star Josko Gvardiol as one of his major defensive targets ahead of the 2023-24 season if City decides to split ways with Laporte.
Chelsea’s Levi Colwill, who is currently on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion, Napoli’s Kim Min-jae, Monaco’s Axel Disasi, and Hajduk Split’s Luka Vuskovic have all been connected with a move to the Etihad Stadium.
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