Gary Neville encourages Jose Mourinho to sign Manchester City target Aymeric Laporte

by Leo Nieboer

Gary Neville has encouraged Jose Mourinho to make another move for a Manchester City target – Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte.

Manchester United dealt a blow to their rivals across town this month by acquiring the services of Alexis Sanchez, seemingly destined to reunite with Pep Guardiola, for the price of Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way.

They have been linked with other Man City targets such as midfielders Jean Michael Seri and Fred ahead of the summer.

And Neville, with Laporte edging closer to joining City, has encouraged the Man United hierarchy to make a bid for the Frenchman having seen him up close during his stint as Valencia boss.

Much has been made of United stealing Sanchez from under City’s nose. Their ability to attract a world class player away from Guardiola shows they still have plenty of clout and appeal if anybody ever doubted that in the first place.

But we have to acknowledge that, above anything, United signed Sanchez because they wanted him more than City. Guardiola was willing to pay £60m for him in the summer but, just a few months later, wasn’t willing to spend half of that in January, with his side 12 points clear at the top and the likes of Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne and Leroy Sane.

In the case of Laporte, however, you sense Guardiola will make serious efforts to fend off any other competitors given the need to address Vincent Kompany’s constant injuries and Eliaquim Mangala’s poor form at the back.

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