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Crystal Palace consider shock move for out of favour Manchester City defender



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Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte is a surprise target for Crystal Palace, who are eying up a potential move for the five-time Premier League winner.

The 29-year-old started just 20 matches for Manchester City last season after falling down Pep Guardiola’s defensive pecking order, amid impressive performances from Ruben Dias, John Stones, Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji.

Laporte’s opportunities at the Etihad Stadium could be further limited next season, with Manchester City currently pursuing a record-breaking deal for RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol.

The 21-year-old is Pep Guardiola’s main summer target, after the Blues secured the signing of fellow Croatia international Mateo Kovacic, who signed from Chelsea for £25 million last month.

Laporte didn’t feature during the UEFA Champions League Final against Inter Milan in Istanbul, with fellow absentees from the starting team, Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez, both expected to leave the Etihad Stadium this summer.

Mahrez is set to finalise a move to Saudi Pro League side Al Ahli, meanwhile Walker is closing in on a transfer to Bayern Munich, despite featuring for Manchester City during a pre-season friendly on Sunday.

Laporte featured during the second-half of Sunday’s win over Yokohama F. Marinos, as Manchester City beat the J-League champions 5-3 at the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo.

The Spain defender’s future remains uncertain however, with former club Athletic Bilbao showing an interest in re-signing the 29-year-old.

Manchester City paid the La Liga club £57 million for Laporte in 2018, with the centre-back having won 11 trophies and made 179 appearances for the Blues, since swapping Spain for England.

The La Liga club could face competition from Premier League side Crystal Palace, who have surprisingly emerged as a potential suitor for the defender, according to the Daily Star.

Harry Pratt claims that the Eagles are considering a move for Laporte, but are currently ‘reluctant’ to meet Manchester City’s asking price for the defender.

As a result, Palace are reportedly preparing to wait until later in the transfer window to launch a formal bid for the Spaniard, hoping Manchester City may accept a lower offer.

Laporte is claimed to have already turned down an offer from Tottenham this summer, while Juventus also hold an interest in signing the defender.