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City Defender on Crystal Palace’s Transfer Radar

Crystal Palace Eyeing Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte

Crystal Palace are reported to be showing an interest in Manchester City’s seasoned defender, Aymeric Laporte. With the Spanish international’s reduced first-team exposure over the last year and a half, The Daily Star are reporting a move to Palace could provide an interesting avenue for rejuvenation.

Struggles in the City Squad

Having made just 24 appearances for the Premier League champions in the previous season, Laporte has seen limited involvement in key fixtures. While he was brought on as a late substitute in the FA Cup final, the Champions League final triumph over Inter Milan saw no participation from him.

This evident marginalisation of Laporte in the Man City squad puts him behind Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake, and John Stones in Pep Guardiola’s line-up. The 29-year-old former Athletic Bilbao central defender, recognising the decreasing opportunities, is keen to seek greener pastures. The situation is unlikely to improve with Man City eyeing an £80 million deal for RB Leipzig’s promising defender, Josko Gvardiol.

Laporte’s Market Value

Secured on a contract that runs for another two years with a weekly wage of £120,000, City are currently demanding £35 million for Laporte. His original procurement from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018 cost the Mancunian club a hefty £58 million.

Hodgson’s Plans for Palace

As the Eagles prepare for the upcoming season, their gaffer, Roy Hodgson, is keen to bolster his defensive arsenal. In particular, he is looking to add top-flight experience and stability in possession, two qualities that Laporte certainly brings to the table. With 22 caps for Spain since his 2021 debut, the French-born defender exhibits versatility and can comfortably operate in both three and four-man defences.

However, despite the potential benefits of bringing Laporte into their squad, Palace is hesitant to meet City’s asking price. Current strategies suggest they might delay launching a formal bid until later in the transfer window, a tactic that carries its own risks.

Potential Suitors and City’s Departures

Athletic, Laporte’s former club, maintains a keen interest in welcoming him back to La Liga. Having joined Athletic at the tender age of 16, Laporte had made a notable 222 appearances for the Spanish side before transitioning to the Premier League.

Meanwhile, at the Etihad, City has already bid farewell to one key player this summer, with Ilkay Gundogan leaving for Barcelona on a free transfer. Riyad Mahrez also stands on the brink of an exit as City has agreed a £30 million deal with Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli.

Although Laporte’s departure would undoubtedly impact the City squad, it would not be as detrimental to Guardiola’s plans as the previous departures, especially if they secure the highly sought-after Gvardiol in the meantime. The summer window remains open, and only time will reveal Laporte’s fate. Will he be heading to Selhurst Park or elsewhere? As always, the beautiful game is full of surprises.

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