Eliaquim Mangala transfer latest: Manchester City to miss out on Porto defender who prefers switch to Manchester United or Chelsea
The Frenchman is considered one of the best rising defenders in European football
Manchester City's prospects of securing French central defender Eliaquim Mangala, their top summer transfer target, have receded further because he considers Manchester United a more attractive option.
Mangala, who is also interested in a move to Chelsea, is considered one of the top European central defensive talents. United's new manager, Louis van Gaal, is hedging his bets over who he signs to replace the departed Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
The 23-year-old's temperament is one of the factors which has led to Van Gaal's hesitance, as United prepare to assemble a squad capable of returning immediately to the Champions League.
He struggled last season to recapture the form he found in his first two years at Porto and his substantial €45m (£36.3m) release clause is another potential impediment. Van Gaal's preference is the Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.
United had hoped to conclude some of their transfer business before the start of the World Cup and that is still thought to remain a possibility, with Van Gaal's commitment to the Dutch national side's preparations for Brazil not precluding him from regular contact with United chief executive Ed Woodward.
City find themselves with the same difficulty finding a central defensive reinforcement this summer that they did last, when they made Real Madrid's Pepe their top target, only to find the Spaniards unwilling to let him go.
Roma's £20m 27-year-old Moroccan Mehdi Benatia is a possible back-up option, though, after a number of central defenders have struggled to form partnerships with captain Vincent Kompany, City know they must get this decision right.
Latest in Sport
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Israel-Gaza conflict: Deadly flechette shells 'used by Israeli military in Gaza Strip’
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains