Manchester City are ready to flex their muscles in the remaining days of the January transfer window, after reported emerged that the Premier League outfit have opened discussions with FC Porto to sign Eliaquim Mangala.
The 22-year-old French defender joined the Portuguese club in 2011 and has scored eight goals thus far.
Premier League outfit Chelsea and Manchester United are also thought to be interested in his signature, but according to The Times, City are regarded as favourites for his signature.
A summer move for the defender is more likely, with Porto will be looking to command a high transfer value (as usual their business policy) in the region over £30 m, but with fierce competition expected from other rivals, City are exploring the possibilities of signing the defender before the deadline day.
Under Manuel Pellegrini, City have been a free-scoring side, but the defence remains a concern, having conceded 26 goals in the league so far. Matija Nastasic’s form has dipped this season while Joleon Lescott’s future has been speculated in the media as well.
Despite the rumored interest from Chelsea and Manchester United, both the Premier League clubs have other transfer targets as well. The Blues are looking to sign Kurt Zouma from Saint Etienne, while the Red Devils were heavily linked with a move for Ezequiel Garay of Benfica.
City appear on course to comply with the Financial Fair Play rules, after they sold two assets worth almost £50m that enabled them to cut losses by almost half despite a soaring wage bill. Their financial losses had fallen from £97.9 million to £51.6 million and that turnover had increased by almost £40 million, to £271 million, for 2012-13.