Manchester City Reportedly Want Aymeric Laporte and Fred in January Window

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2018

BILBAO, SPAIN - JANUARY 07:  Aymeric Laporte of Athletic Club reacts during the La Liga match between Athletic Club Bilbao and Deportivo Alaves at San Mames Stadium on January 7, 2018 in Bilbao, Spain.  (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Manchester City are reportedly eager to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte and Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred in the January transfer window after missing out on Alexis Sanchez.

According to Goal's Sam Lee, City are concerned about having missed out on a number of key targets and, after seeing Sanchez sign for Manchester United, have changed their plans for the current window and are keen to snap up Laporte and Fred.

Centre-back Laporte angered City when he pulled out of a deal to join the club at the 11th hour in 2016, but he is back on the Sky Blues' radar and has shown an interest in moving to the Etihad Stadium, while his release clause is €65 million (£57.1 million). Meanwhile, Fred would cost City £40 million (£35.1 million), and the Manchester outfit are keen to sign him in January rather than wait until summer, Lee added. 

Laporte, 23, has long been viewed as one of the best young centre-backs in Europe and could feasibly fit perfectly into Pep Guardiola's City side given he is "perhaps the model of the modern defender," per's Nick Miller.

The Frenchman graduated from Athletic's youth system to the senior side in 2012 and has been a key part of the Basque club's first team for the last four seasons.

Laporte has all the attributes to become one of the world's best central defenders, but it is a slight surprise City have reignited their interest in him given how their deal to sign him broke down previously, per The Independent's Ed Malyon:

However, in the current market, €65 million is a relative bargain for a player of his quality and potential, and City have more than enough funds to persuade him to join them in January.

Fred has also been on City's radar for some time, and Lee previously reported Guardiola was planning to move for him in the summer as a replacement for Yaya Toure and successor to 32-year-old Fernandinho. 

Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian midfielder Fred controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match Napoli vs Shakhtar Donetsk on November 21, 2017 at the San Paolo stadium in Naples.  / AFP PHOTO / Andreas SOLARO        (Photo credit s

Now, though, it seems City want to sign him in the current transfer window despite the fact he will be cup-tied for the UEFA Champions League.

Per Duncan Castles in Arab News, the Brazil international has already agreed to join City, but the Manchester outfit and Shakhtar are now negotiating as to when. Guardiola is reportedly eager he join in January, while Shakhtar would prefer he remain with them until the end of the season. 

The 24-year-old has impressed in a deep-lying midfield role for Shakhtar this season, and his work rate, comfort in possession and passing acumen make him an ideal candidate to bolster City's superlative squad in the long term.