Aymeric Laporte has fallen down the defensive pecking order at Premier League side Manchester City and that certainly opened his eyes to potentially leaving the club. That is soon set to become a reality as the Spanish international is the latest high-profile name that will soon be playing football in the Saudi Arabia Pro League.
Laporte, who turned 29 over the summer, has spent the last five-and-a-half years with the Etihad Stadium club, winning a total of five league titles along the way. In addition to this, he won the UEFA Champions League as part of their successful treble-winning campaign last season, and his last appearance came on the opening day when winning 3-0 away to newly-promoted Burnley.
Al Nassr will be the destination for Laporte, with transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano confirming that he will sign up with the club alongside Porto playmaker Otavio, meaning the pair shall soon become team mates of Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane.
Laporte will pen a contract with the Saudi Arabian club that will initially last until June 2026, and a medical has been booked, meaning this deal is expected to go through relatively quickly. It remains to be seen if City will enter the market before the upcoming transfer deadline to potentially replace the long-serving player.
Romano also revealed via The Guardian that Man City will receive a £25million fee for the services of the central defender. Back in 2018, the club broke their then record transfer when signing the player from Athletic Bilbao for a fee of £57million.
It would appear that the the signing of Josko Gvardiol from Bundesliga outfit Red Bull Leipzig has been the defining moment in Laporte determining his Man City career was coming to a conclusion. As mentioned, this puts him further down the pecking order, but with him set to receive a £20million yearly salary at his soon to be new club, he will undoubtedly feel much more wanted.
Laporte will become the latest big-name individual to make the switch across to Saudi Arabia, where their league campaign recently started for another season. Al Nassr were runners-up in the Pro League last year, last winning the title in 2018/19. Under the management of Luis Castro, the former Porto and Botafogo manager, Laporte will be hoping to play his part in improving their defence, allowing the likes of Ronaldo and Mane to flourish in attack.
He will hope to sign in time to make his Al Nassr debut on Tuesday (22nd) when they take part in a AFC Champions League qualification tie at home to Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai.