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Sports Witness: City ‘interested’ in Bilbao defender

Alleged Manchester City target Aymeric Laporte

Alleged Manchester City target Aymeric Laporte

Two defenders feature in today’s edition, as well as reaction from City reaching the Capital One Cup final…

We start our rumours round-up by heading over to Spain to bring you a rumour from Sports Witness, via Marca, who say that City are tracking €50m defender Aymeric Laporte.

The 21-year old currently plys his trade for Athletic Bilbao and it is believed that City are one of many big clubs to be tracking the Frenchman, with Arsenal among the favourites to sign him.

Dipesh Agarwal writes: “According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Manchester City are one of several clubs interested in signing Aymeric Laporte.

“The 21-year-old has been a standout defender in the La Liga for a couple of seasons now, and has been linked to several big clubs in Europe. Laporte has more than three years left on his contract at the Basque club, but has a €50m release clause.

“The likes of Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Paris-Saint Germain are also said to be watching Laporte, but it's the Gunners, who've taken the biggest steps to lure the defender.

“Marca claim Arsenal have been watching Laporte for a while, and getting reports on his character, adaptability and language skills.”

Yesterday, we brought you the rumour that City were on ‘high alert’ when it was said that the Blues were tracking Matt Miazga after talk from America said he was on his way to the Premier League.

The Daily Mail have followed that article up today with another on the MLS defender, with their report saying that fellow Premier League side Chelsea have won the battle for the 20-year old.

Sami Mokbel states: “Chelsea have strengthened their defensive options by swooping for Matt Miazga — one of the hottest young stars in US football.

“Scouts from Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City had all been alerted to the 6ft 3in defender, who does not require a work permit as he holds a Polish passport.”

As expected, transfer news for City doesn’t feature a lot today with the main focus being on City reaching the Capital One Cup final last night after beating Everton 4-3 on aggregate. Let’s take a look at what news outlets are saying about the achievement…

We’ll start by looking at the Manchester Evening News’ verdict on last night, with them picking out Kevin De Bruyne as the game changer.

Stuart Brennan scribes: “Kevin de Bruyne's class and the lethal finishing of Sergio Aguero combined to send City sweeping back to Wembley.

“On a night when the club dished out free inflatables to hark back to the Eighties, the Blues came up with a classic cup display in a frantic, furious, fulfilling match.

“And it has to be said that the quality of the Belgian, who came off the bench to score the aggregate equaliser and create the winner for Aguero, was better than anything City fans saw during the original banana craze in the Eighties.”

Moving over to the Mirror’s ‘Five things we learned’ from the game and they praise Sergio Aguero, stating that he ‘looks close to his best once more’.

David McDonnell writes: “The pre-match pyrotechnics were tame compared to Sergio Aguero’s rocket-like effort just after the half-hour, which came back off a post.

“If ever a shot deserved to go in, that was it. His second-half, tie-winning header was sublime also.

“The Argentine was razor sharp throughout and looks close to his best once more after a lengthy lay-off.”

The Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel is also full of praise for City’s number 10, claiming that we are watching ‘one of the greatest strikers of modern times’.

Samuel states: “He is not a huge man, Sergio Aguero. Not an Andy Carroll type, not a battering ram. Defenders know they are in for a fight when they face him, but not one where they are likely to come out black and blue.

“Nobody would have guessed any of this, though, from the goal that took Manchester City to Wembley. Had Carroll scored it, the evidence would be advanced as the reason he should play for England. Had Peter Crouch duplicated it at Anfield on Tuesday, credit would have gone to Stoke manager Mark Hughes for a masterclass in how to play against Liverpool.

“As it was Aguero, it will go down as yet another attribute of a simply brilliant matchwinner. We are watching one of the great strikers of modern times. Most of the finest players in the world can be found in La Liga, but each time we see Aguero we can tell ourselves: not all of them."

Enjoy your Thursday, City fans!

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