Portuguese giants admit Chelsea target Mangala could be sold if the price is right - but United and City are waiting in the wings.
When Jose Mourinho first took over at Stamford Bridge he wasn't afraid to go back to the club that made him famous to raid them for top class talent. Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, and Maniche all turned out for both clubs under the management of Mourinho, and if the strong rumours are to be believed, the Chelsea supremo is heading back to Northern Portugal to recruit another from their current crop.
French defender Eliaquim Mangala enjoyed a breakthrough season last year for the Portuguese champions, becoming first-choice centre back and winning his first French cap. Unsurprisingly, the 22-year-old has been linked with several powerhouses of Europe over the last twelve months as a result, with PSG, Monaco, Manchester City and Manchester United all having been credited with an interest. But Chelsea have been the team most consistently linked with the Frenchman, especially since Mourinho returned to the club over the summer.
With John Terry turning 33 next month, Chelsea will be on the lookout for an outstanding individual to come in and eventually replace someone who has undoubtedly been one of Chelsea's greatest ever players. If Gary Cahill and David Luiz remain on the books, and at least one of those comes with a big if, Chelsea will have an ageing Terry alongside promising youngsters Tomas Kalas and Kenneth Omeruo, with the possibility of Branislav Ivanovic to switch from right back as they look to make up the numbers. Mangala would represent a player of genuine quality that would be able to slot in at Terry's left centre back position, while also being able to cover at left fullback.
And, in a seemingly encouraging move, Porto president Pinto Da Costa was recently reported to have admitted a sale could be on the cards - if the price is right.
‘I see his name linked with clubs all the time in the media,’ he said.
‘He has a release clause and clubs know that, but if a bid arrives that attracts us then we could sell.’
That release clause is rumoured to be close to £50 million, but Metro reports that a bid closer to £30 million may encourage Porto to do business.
image: © Jason Bagley