Pep Guardiola set to beat future Premier League rivals to signing of La Liga star

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Pep Guardiola’s influence is arguably already being felt at Manchester City, with the club reportedly set to beat Manchester United to Aymeric Laporte.

According to The Mirror, the Spanish tactician has made the Athletic Bilbao defender one of his priorities this summer, and has agreed a £35m move in principle.

It is reported that the likes of United and Barcelona were also tracking the French youngster, but City are expected to be in pole position this summer.

However, the initial concern for the Bilbao ace will be to return to full health after he suffered a serious injury on international duty last month with the Under-21s side.

While there will be some anxiousness over the speed of his recovery and his ability to return to the level of form prior to the injury, City will hope to sign him and bolster their defensive options ahead of next season.

Guardiola will arrive in the summer having confirmed that he will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season to replace Manuel Pellegrini.

In turn, he will be expected to strengthen the squad at the Etihad and sign individuals that fit into his playing style and philosophy of how the game should be played.

City will naturally back him in the transfer market to sign the ideal players for his system, and that will likely start with Laporte and the defence with the likes of Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi struggling to live up to their price-tags this season.

Meanwhile, it could be a worrying sign of things to come for City’s rivals, with Guardiola’s appeal and influence on top players around Europe likely to sway them to join his revolution in the blue half of Manchester in what is expected to be an exciting period in the club’s continued development into a European powerhouse.

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