Current rumors suggest that Manchester City are close to agreeing a deal to sign Porto center-back Eliaquim Mangala. Anybody who has watched City this season will know that their defense is the area that they most require strengthening for next season, and Mangala has been a long-term target for the Premier League club.
City have played Martin Demichelis alongside captain Vincent Kompany at the heart of their defense this year and for the majority of their time together, the defense has looked relatively fragile, especially Demichelis. The Argentine has settled in recent games but at 33, is clearly not the future for the club; Mangala could be though.
It should be a great sign for any City fan to see that Txiki Begiristain, who cuts the deals for City, is already at work and clearly trying to improve the areas where City actually need it most. It sounds so simple, of course, but the number of clubs who wait far too long or simply buy players they don’t necessarily need is astounding. City, nowadays, are proactive though and are clearly already working towards next season behind the scenes.
Mangala has endured a dip in form this season, along with the Porto team as a whole. Last summer, his stock was sky high. Now though, his price seems to have fallen somewhat and that is why City have decided now is the time to pounce. If you still believe in the player 100%, then that is great, opportunistic business by City. Very shrewd.
Mangala is a fantastic athlete, with strength and speed combined with agility and a competitive nature. He can operate at center-back or left-back (another problematic area for City) and is also known to be a goal threat in the oppositions penalty box. The Frenchman has long been touted as one to watch and one of the best rising defensive talents around and the hype has grown and grown as he has been linked with almost every top club in Europe.
Truthfully though, it is all hype at this point. Whether he can actually fulfill that hype and reach the heights that some people have predicted for him is really unknown right now. Obviously, the next few years will tell us a lot more regarding that. He would, though, improve City’s current team right now, if he were to indeed join for next season — and that is something we do know.