Pep Guardiola not put off by staggering £55m buyout clause for top Manchester City target

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly keen to renew his bid to sign Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte this summer.

Despite missing out on the 22-year-old last summer, Guardiola remains keen on signing him in order to bolster his backline.

According to The Mirror, City had prepared a £39m deal last year only to see him sign a new four-year deal with the La Liga outfit and end interest with a £55m release clause reportedly included in his new contract.

That in turn seemed to end City’s chances of signing him, but as per the report, it seems as though Guardiola is still keen to sign the talented Frenchman.

It’s added that the City boss believes that Laporte offers better value for money than another target in Southampton defensive ace Virgil van Dijk.

Either way, it’s a sensible move from Guardiola as ultimately his defence has not been solid enough this season with Vincent Kompany’s injury problems continuing. Combined with the shaky displays from Nicolas Otamendi and with John Stones taking time to settle with several costly errors along the way, it is an area of weakness for the Premier League title chasers.

City have conceded 29 goals in 24 games, 12 more than leaders Chelsea, and that ultimately isn’t good enough for a side challenging for the title.

Laporte will be a risk compared to Van Dijk as the latter obviously already has Premier League experience and so you know what you’re getting with him.

Nevertheless, it appears as though Laporte is the man to fill the void at the back and City aren’t put off by the figure that they will have to spend in order to prise him away from Bilbao this summer.

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