Manchester City ‘open to swapping Aymeric Laporte for Frenkie de Jong’ with Barcelona eyeing a second raid on Pep Guardiola after signing Ferran Torres… but their Dutch midfielder ‘wants to stay put’ at the Nou Camp
- Barcelona have reportedly identified Man City’s Aymeric Laporte as a top target
- The Spanish club already prised Ferran Torres away from City earlier this month
- Pep Guardiola and co are willing to let Laporte join Barca as part of a swap deal
- Frenkie de Jong is the man they want to head in the opposite direction
Manchester City are open to swapping Aymeric Laporte for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to reports in Spain.
Laporte, 27, has become a key member of Pep Guardiola’s backline again this season after falling out of favour in the previous campaign.
As a result, Barca are understood to have identified the Spain defender as one of their top transfer targets in January, plotting a second raid on City just a week after signing Ferran Torres from the Etihad.
Man City are open to Aymeric Laporte joining Barcelona if Frenkie de Jong (above) is included
Barca have reportedly identified Laporte as a top transfer target in the January window
Despite his solid form this term, El Nacional are reporting that the Premier League club would be prepared to discuss Laporte moving to Catalonia in a potential swap deal with De Jong.
Guardiola is said to be a huge admirer of the latter, who has made 115 appearances for Barca since joining from Ajax in 2019.
Barca are unlikely to be able to afford an outright deal for Laporte given their financial crisis and while paying their £55million fee for Torres in staggered payments.
Including De Jong in a potential swap deal could tempt City into doing business with them for a second time this month, yet the player himself may not be open to the move.
The Spanish club are planning a second raid on City after signing Ferran Torres last week
It is believed De Jong is not looking to leave Barca anytime soon despite widespread speculation surrounding his future, with another five-and-a-half years still to run on his current contract.
The Spanish club would therefore have to come up with a straight financial offer to prise Laporte away from City, which could prove difficult amid their financial woes.
Barca manager Xavi recently admitted the club are unable to register Torres in their squad until they reduce their wage bill, urging winger Ousmane Dembele to lower his salary at the Nou Camp.
‘We’ll see how the salary cap situation is, if it’s possible right away,’ he said.
‘There has to be players leaving. If we get Dembele to re-sign his contract and lower his pay it will allow us to sign Torres and we hope that it can happen.’