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Arsenal can sign Aymeric Laporte in £26m deal

Arsenal are reportedly on the hunt for a central defender this summer and Iñaki Ugalde of Mundo Deportivo said days ago that Aymeric Laporte is one of many names on their radar.

The 29-year-old has an uncertain future at Manchester City after struggling for playing time last season, making just 11 Premier League starts and spending most of the campaign on the bench.

City are closing in on signing Joško Gvardiol from RB Leipzig this summer. He’s a left-footed central defender that could join for a record-fee, so his arrival might spell the end of Laporte’s time at the Etihad.

Corriere dello Sport (h/t Sport Witness) say the Sky Blues would let the French-born Spanish international leave for around €30m (£26m), so Arsenal wouldn’t have to break for the bank for a talented player.

The Gunners have William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhães, Jakub Kiwior, Auston Trusty, Ben White and Rob Holding at their disposal, but Kiwior isn’t holding down a starting place, Trusty won’t be a regular next season and Holding has fallen down the pecking order.

Arsenal are reportedly closing in on signing Ajax right-back Jurrien Timber, so time will tell if they want Laporte on top of the Netherlands international. Arteta might need to offload one or two existing names to make space for a new arrival.

Laporte joined City from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 and has gone on to make 179 appearances in all competitions, scoring 12 goals with four assists. The 29-year-old was a regular for years, but he’s now behind John Stones, Ruben Dias, Manuel Akanji and Nathan Ake in the pecking order.

Laporte has two years left on his contract at City and is unlikely to be handed an extension if he’s out of favour, so it makes sense to cash in now while his value is high.

Mikel Arteta has done a lot of business with his former club, signing Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus last summer, so the two parties have a good relationship that should make negotiating easy.

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