According to Spanish publication Diario Sport, Manchester City and Barcelona could be involved in a major swap deal that sees Aymeric Laporte and Sergi Roberto heading in opposite directions.
Aymeric Laporte, 27, is considering his future at Manchester City after slipping down the defensive pecking order in boss Pep Guardiola’s plans.
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Summer signing Ruben Dias proved a revelation at the Etihad Stadium, forming a rock-solid partnership with John Stones at the heart of Manchester City’s defence.
This kept Aymeric Laporte out of the starting XI for the majority part of last season, limiting him to just 14 Premier League starts.
Having fallen out of favour with Dias and Stones becoming the preferred defensive duo for Pep Guardiola, Laporte’s situation has seemingly gone unnoticed.
He has attracted interest from LaLiga giants Barcelona, who could go for the former Athletic Bilbao star to try and help solve their defensive frailties.
Naturally, the price to sign the recently-capped Spanish defender will be a problem for the Catalan club, as Laporte has a contract until 2025 at the Etihad Stadium. But Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona have a plan in place to bring Laporte back to Spain by offering Sergi Roberto as a makeweight in any potential deal, Diario Sport claim.
Sergi Roberto, who has been linked with Manchester City already, is deemed surplus to requirements at Camp Nou. The full-back has always been admired by Guardiola, who, in fact, gave the Spaniard his Barcelona debut against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League semi-finals back in 2010/11 campaign.
Roberto has had a tough LaLiga season majorly due to injury problems, managing only 15 appearances under Ronald Koeman. Yet, Guardiola sees him as an instant reinforcement to his squad and the 29-year-old defender would only consider leaving the Catalan giants if he links up again with the Spanish tactician, the report adds.
Laporte is apparently unhappy for not featuring much at City this past campaign, while Roberto has just a year to run on his contract at Camp Nou. As things stand, a swap deal involving Roberto would be the perfect scenario for the English champions.
Man City, who won their third league title in four years under Guardiola, will aim to freshen up their squad after the Champions League final heartbreak. And a player of Roberto’s experience and versatility would be a welcome addition to City’s squad.