Manchester City could make a summer move for France Under-21 international Aymeric Laporte, according to The Sun.
The Premier League giants, who defeated Liverpool 3-1 on penalties in the 2016 Capital One Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, want the Athletic Bilbao defender to become Pep Guardiola’s first marquee signing for the club when he arrives at the Etihad Stadium at the end of the 2015/16 season.
The 21-year-old, who is yet to make his full international debut for the 2016 UEFA European Championship hosts, has impressively scored five goals in 39 appearances in all competitions for the La Liga side so far this season.
Laporte, who is said to also be of interest to arch-rivals Manchester United this summer, has a release clause in his current contract of around £40m.
However the report suggests that Man City are willing to set aside a stunning £80m in order to splash out on the Frenchman’s transfer fee and contract perks later this year.
It is understood that future Citizens boss Guardiola is keen to fend off the likes of United, fellow European giants Paris Saint-Germain and his former club FC Barcelona in the race to sign Bilbao’s highly-rated centre-half.