Belfast Telegraph

Laporte is ready for battle to retain grip on a Man City starting shirt

 

Aymeric Laporte
Aymeric Laporte

Aymeric Laporte expects a fight to keep his place in the Manchester City side whether the champions buy a new centre-back this summer or not.

Pep Guardiola has one fewer senior central defender in his squad following the departure of captain Vincent Kompany.

City have been heavily linked with Leicester's Harry Maguire but have given no indication whether they are likely to push for a deal.

That leaves Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as the club's recognised centre-halves.

Laporte, who was outstanding and featured in 49 of the treble winners' 61 games last season, said: "Hopefully it can be the same this year. I'm here to start. I'm going to work for that.

"I don't know (if the club will buy). Ask Pep. The three of us are putting ourselves forward to play every game, but we don't decide."

Guardiola has indicated he would like to sign a defender but has claimed he is covered, even suggesting midfielder Fernandinho could play in the position. The record summer signing of midfielder Rodri could facilitate a reshuffle of the team.

Laporte said: "Fernandinho is a very good player. I think he can play wherever he wants."

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