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.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians