Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte is close to a move to Saudi Arabia.
“City have accepted an offer from Al Nasr for Laporte,” David Onstein, a journalist for global sports publication The Athletic, reported on his social media accounts on Saturday (June 16).
Clubs in the Saudi professional league are spending big in the summer transfer market, snapping up key players from European leagues. Al Nasr is no different. Last winter, Al Nasr captured the world’s attention when they landed Cristiano Ronaldo after he was released by Manchester United. This summer, they brought in Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic, Seko Fofana, and Alex Telles from Europe.
Another player Al Nasr are close to signing is Man City’s Laporte. The Frenchman emerged as a highly skilled defender during his time at Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Primera Liga. City snapped him up in January 2018 for €65 million ($94.9 billion).
Laporte was a regular at the back in 2018/19, making 51 appearances across all competitions. Just when he thought he was on the cusp of success at City, an unexpected reef came along. He injured his knee against Brighton & Hove Albion in August 2019 and was sidelined for nearly five months.
Upon his return, Laporte’s place in the team began to dwindle. He faced stiff competition for a starting spot as City brought in the likes of Ousmane Dias, Nathan Ake, and Manuel Akanji. After making 51 appearances in 2018/19, Laporte was limited to 27 in 2020/21. In 2021/22, he seemed to rebound with 44 appearances, but his place in the side slipped back to 24 last season. 안전놀이터
Laporte’s future at City in 2023/24 is unclear. A strong competitor has emerged in the form of Josuco Gbardiol, a big defensive prospect from RB Leipzig, in a City shirt. He made an appearance in the league opener against Burnley, but it was as a substitute, not a starter. The likes of Arsenal have shown interest, but Laporte is expected to head to Saudi Arabia.