are reportedly very interested in signing , a top target for and Liverpool, to replace Aymeric Laporte.
Laporte, once City’s second most expensive signing, is no longer the heavily important defender he once was for ’s side.
A severe knee injury saw him miss the early part of the season but since his return he has made just six Premier League starts, with Manuel Akanji, Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias firmly ahead of him in the pecking order.
As a result, reports that the 28-year-old will be allowed to leave the Etihad in the summer following five-and-a-half successful years that have seen him win four league titles and four domestic cups.
Many clubs are keeping tabs on the Spain international who has two years left on his contract, not least Barcelona who have also been linked with his City teammates Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva.
But while Guardiola already has a healthy collection of top centre-backs at his disposal, it is also said that he wants to replace Laporte with World Cup star Gvardiol who has been touted with a move to the Premier League since last summer.
City were tentatively linked with him in January and managed to get a first-hand look at the player when he scored against the Citizens in the Champions League a few weeks ago.
The Croatia international is regarded as one of the best young players in his position and was the subject of much interest from Chelsea but the Blues were unwilling to match RB Leipzig’s £100million valuation.
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But after starring at Qatar 2022, helping his country finish third, the 21-year-old’s price tag has been vindicated but it remains to be seen who, if anyone, is willing to pay it.
City and Chelsea certainly could, though the latter have already splashed £138m on centre-backs this season alone, namely Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly and Benoit Badiashile.
Liverpool meanwhile would be more reluctant to pay what would be a club record fee, especially with Jurgen Klopp’s also linked with making other huge transfers this summer.
In the meantime, City will be aiming to close the gap to league leaders Arsenal on Saturday evening when they travel to Crystal Palace.
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