The Mirror report that Mikel Arteta would be interested in Aymeric Laporte this summer, if Arsenal look to bring in another defender.
A defensive addition seemed very unlikely before this week, but the injury to Jurrien Timber and talk of Saudi Arabian interest in Gabriel Magalhaes has pushed the issue to the forefront – even if Gabriel looks set to stay.
Fabrizio Romano also confirmed Arsenal’s interest in Laporte on his YouTube channel, though he suggested Manchester City wouldn’t be too keen on that move.
“A player they really appreciate is Aymeric Laporte,” Romano said (via TBR Football).
“This is true, the rumours about Laporte are true in the sense that he is one of the players appreciated by Arsenal. But from what I heard, Man City did not want to sell another player, they prefer a different kind of destination for Laporte.”
The Mirror reported earlier this month that after signing Josko Gvardiol, Manchester City would look to cash in on Aymeric Laporte this summer.
The defender is seemingly viewed as surplus to requirements on the left-hand side of City’s defence, with Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji also preferred.
Ideally, City want to sell abroad, and they’re looking for a £30m fee. But there’s clearly interest from within the Premier League as well.
Along with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa were monitoring Laporte’s situation as he often lost his place towards the end of last season.
Gvardiol’s arrival could now act as a catalyst for a move, though there’s no suggestion of any offers going in just yet.
An Arsenal move seemed unrealistic at the time of that report, but the changing situation with Arteta’s defensive options could make a difference.