Barcelona are planning to make a move for Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte, according to reports in the Catalan media.
The La Liga club are keen on reinforcing their backline, with Gerard Pique now 33 and Samuel Umtiti expected to leave the Camp Nou, and they have identified the City star as their main target.
Barca are hoping that City’s ban from the Champions League will help persuade the Manchester club into selling Laporte. They are long term admirers of the Frenchman, having looked at him when he was still at Athletic Bilbao.
The player himself, though, seems committed to staying at the Etihad Stadium, with the centre-back stating recently that the suspension from European competitions does not bother him:
“We are waiting for a final decision. We are going to see what happens next season. Obviously it would hurt us a lot if we aren’t in the Champions League next season.”
“I am very happy here at Manchester City. I am enjoying my football here. We are doing great things here. In the last two years we have won eight trophies.”
City boss Pep Guardiola will also fight tooth and nail in order to keep him at the club, with the Spaniard rating the 25-year-old as a vital member of the first team squad.