Real Madrid have reportedly joined Barcelona in the race to secure the transfer of Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte in the summer window.
According to a report from Transfer Market Web, arch-rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid are set to battle it out against each other for the signing of Manchester City star Aymeric Laporte in the upcoming transfer window.
Laporte made his name in La Liga with Athletic Bilbao, making over 200 appearances for the Basque country outfit before signing for Manchester City in January 2018. The 27-year-old quickly established himself as a regular in Pep Guardiola’s setup, playing an integral role in their Premier League title triumphs in 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Till date, Laporte has racked up 111 appearances for the Cityzens, even contributing with eight goals and three assists. However, this past campaign saw the centre-back fall behind John Stones and Ruben Dias, who has been named the Premier League Player of the Season. Indeed, he featured in just 27 games across all competitions in 2020/21, starting only 14 matches in the top-flight.
This has led to speculations over his future at the Etihad Stadium, especially with Manchester City said to be in the market for a new central defender. And, this has piqued the interest of two of the biggest clubs in the world in Barcelona and Real Madrid, both of whom are in the market for reinforcements at the back.
Barcelona’s interest in Laporte is very much understandable considering that Gerard Pique is in the final leg of his career while the likes of Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet are facing uncertain futures at Camp Nou. While the Catalan giants have signed a defender in Eric Garcia on a free transfer from Manchester City, there would still be a lack of experience at the back as well as the shortage of a left-footed centre-back at the back.
That is something that Barcelona can address with the signing of Laporte, who has proven himself in the La Liga as well as the Premier League, while also gaining title-winning experience at the Etihad. However, the Blaugrana could now face intense competition from bitter rivals Real Madrid for the signing of the one-time capped Spanish international.
Like Barcelona, Real Madrid also need to replace a seasoned veteran in captain Sergio Ramos, who is out of contract at the club in a few weeks, and interestingly, has been linked with Manchester City. In addition, Raphael Varane is also angling for a summer exit from the Santiago Bernabeu, which would leave new manager Carlo Ancelotti without the senior-most central defenders at the club.
So, even though David Alaba has signed on from Bayern Munich on a Bosman move, another defender would be worth the investment for Los Blancos. Laporte, to that end, would be a viable transfer target for the Spanish capital club.
The report goes on to add that Manchester City would be open to cashing in on the 27-year-old should an offer of €50 million come along. It now remains to be seen if either Barcelona or Real Madrid are willing to meet that valuation or look at alternatives to bolster their respective defences.