Manchester City have broken their transfer record to complete the signing of Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte.
The former French U21 international defender becomes the latest member of Pep Guardiola’s Premier League leaders, having signed for the club in a £57m deal.
Defensive reinforcements acquired! ???
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 30, 2018
Laporte had been a long-term target for Guardiola ever since the Spaniard arrived at the Etihad in 2016. There had been rumours of a £38m deal for the 23-year-old before he suffered a serious ankle injury meant that Man City’s interest was shelved at the time.
Guardiola had been eager to add extra defensive reinforcements this month as his side compete on multiple fronts. Issues regarding the sustained fitness and general ability of Eliaquim Mangala had left Guardiola seeking greater competition for John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
Laporte’s signing, coupled with those of Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy, has meant that Man City have now spent almost £200m on defenders since last summer – a figure that is surpassed when the signing of goalkeeper Ederson Moraes is taken into account.
It’s unclear at this time as to whether Laporte’s registration had been completed in order for the centre-back to make his Man City debut in Wednesday night’s Premier League clash with West Brom.