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Manchester City makes breakthrough in Mangala pursuit

Manchester City makes breakthrough in Mangala pursuit

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The 23-year-old central defender has agreed to join the Premier League champions as a 40 million euro deal for the France international has been finalized with Porto.

Manchester City's prolonged pursuit of Eliaquim Mangala is poised to come to a successful conclusion after the France international decided to sign for the Premier League champions, sources tell Goal UK.

City has agreed to a 40 million euro deal with Porto, while the 23-year-old is scheduled to join pre-season training following a post-World Cup holiday.
    
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City has prioritized the recruitment of an elite central defender to deploy alongside Vincent Kompany for more than a year now. It came close to signing Mangala in January, with the investment trust that owns a percentage of the player's economic rights prepared to accept an offer below his valuation but Porto refusing it.
    
Delaying until the summer window opened up the possibility of other interested parties convincing Mangala to move elsewhere. Targeted by Jose Mourinho since before the manager's return to Chelsea, Mangala publicly expressed his preference for the west London club in May and refused to sign terms with any of his suitors until the end of France's World Cup campaign.
    
Aware that it might lose Mangala to a direct rival, City is understood to have set a deadline of Sunday for him to accept their approach. As an insurance policy, an outline deal had been put in place with Roma for Morocco international Mehdi Benatia.
    
The demand for physically robust defenders who are also capable ball players has seen center back become one of the hardest positions for Champions League clubs to fill, leading Paris Saint-Germain to spend €50m acquiring David Luiz from Chelsea at the beginning of this summer. While widely admired, Mangala does not come without an element of risk.
    
Brought from Standard Liege for €7.5m in 2011, Mangala played fewer than a 100 first-team games during his three seasons at Porto and has yet to establish himself as a starter for his national team. His form deteriorated during a difficult campaign in which the Portuguese title was ceded to Benfica.
    
Arguably the most successful transfer-market operators in European football, Porto has entered discussions to bring Portugal center back Bruno Alves back to the club. Fenerbahce is asking for a fee of €6m for the 32-year-old, who would be expected to make a large salary sacrifice to complete the deal.

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