Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has appeared to pour cold water on Newcastle’s move for central defender Eliaquim Mangala.
This follows a report from Monday night in The Mirror that claimed Newcastle could be set to land Mangala on loan after Man City signed Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte.
BBC reporter Simon Stone then claimed on his personal Twitter account that Valencia and West Ham were also interested in the player that cost Man City £32million.
He claimed that talks were underway with both loan and permanent deals being discussed.
West Ham, Newcastle, Valencia all interested in Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala. Loan or permanent being discussed.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) January 30, 2018
However, City manager Guardiola has poured water on these reports in his latest pre-match press conference.
As quoted in The Mirror’s transfer blog (16.13), Guardiola said: “Defensively, he is a top, top player.
“When we decided to go for Laporte it was because he had something special on the ball.
“You maybe forget how important Mangala was when he played in the team when we used him when Vincent was injured – and John Stones, Mangala helped us a lot.
“I remember against Tottenham and Harry Kane and he was top. He can stay, he can play always.”
Mangala joined City from Porto for £32million in 2014 but has only played nine Premier league games this season after spending last campaign on loan at Valencia.
Football Insider verdict:
Man City fans would seem to disagree with Guardiola’s assessment of their player and most seem to want him to move out on loan. Guardiola doesn’t explicitly say that Mangala won’t be leaving Man City in January but he does give him a glowing report and hints that he wants to keep him as a squad player in case of injuries. However, with Laporte’s move confirmed it would seem to make sense to get Mangala off their books, with both Newcastle and West Ham reportedly interested.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, Magpies ready to offload fan favourite after £57million deal wrapped up.