Manchester City confident of sealing £32m deal for Eliaquim Mangala

• Frenchman spotted in Manchester over the weekend
• City may need to drop one overseas player due to FFP rules

Manchester City are hopeful of finally landing Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala for around £32m, in what will be the champions’ most expensive signing of the summer window.

While the club is not expecting to announce the transfer in the next 48 hours, there is a quiet confidence the France central defender will become a City player, possibly before Manuel Pellegrini’s squad fly to America on 21 July for the summer tour.

Given that a proposed transfer fell through in the January window and that Mangala could then have signed at the end of the season – the Frenchman preferred to wait until after the World Cup to consider his options – City are proceeding with caution.

On Saturday Mangala was photographed in Manchester with an official from the club, leading to suggestions that he may have agreed, in principle, to join. As the 23-year-old is also to be one of most expensive players in the club’s history and one of Porto’s prized assets, the deal is proving protracted, with Mangala’s part-third-party ownership a further complication.

If Mangala does arrive then City may have to drop at least one overseas player from their Champions League squad, as it is restricted to 16 plus 5 “homegrown” players, following Uefa’s financial fair play sanctions.

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