Manchester City are lining up a £30 million move for Porto defender Eliaqulm Mangala when the transfer window re-opens in January.
With both Manchester United and Chelsea keen on the 22 year old, Manuel Pellegrini wants to steal a march on his rivals and wants to follow up his summer interest in the defender.
City moved for the French star late in the transfer window but were re-buffered in their attempts with Porto telling the Premier League big spenders that their approach had come too late for them to bolster their own squad.
City’s interest in the Mangala was confirmed by the player who told Portuguese paper A Bola that he was happy to leave his faith be decided by the Portuguese champions.
“Manchester City were interested a few days ago, but nothing was ever close,”
“I’m a Porto player and I feel good here. I have no problem with this issue.
“I am fine here and focused on what we can do this season.”
Instead City moved for Atletico Madrid’s Martin Demichelis with the 32 year old moving to Manchester in a £3.5 million deal.
The 32 year old was signed as defensive cover following an injury to Vincent Kompany but the Argentine defender succumbed to injury himself just days after signing for the club and faces 6 weeks on the sidelines with a serious knee ligament injury suffered in a training session.
That has left the Chilean boss with a major headache with the boss believed to not overly impressed with the form of centre-back pairing of Nemja Nastastic and Joleon Lescott so far, not to mention the form of keeper Joe Hart.
Mangala has a £40 million buy out clause but City are hopeful that they seal a deal by offering £30 million upfront with the rest of the fee to be made up with add-ons.
Mangala joined Porto from Standard Liege in 2011 rising to prominence last season on the back of a stellar season that saw the player make 36 appearances, keeping 25 clean sheets and scoring five goals in all competitions.
Barcelona are also keen on the defender and with the Catalan side keen to bolster their back-line they are set to emerge as serious rivals should City push ahead with a move in the January transfer window.