Eliaquim Mangala saying all the right things to suggest he’s a champion in the making

Manchester City's apparent defensive target Eliaquim Mangala has been speaking about what it means to finish third last season.

Reported Manchester City target Eliaquim Mangala has been speaking about last season and what he learned from that campaign with FC Porto.

In quotes published by Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, the French international said his side was hugely disappointed with their third-place Primeira Liga finish.

The former league champions fell below both Benfica and surprise package Sporting Lisbon, and Mangala said, “In Porto we’re not accustomed to finishing third. For us, it is a failure.

“The minimum required of this club is to be champions.”

It was a bold statement from a defender who has attracted a considerable amount of praise recently, and as is always the case when that happens, the transfer rumours have quickly followed.

Mangala was linked with a January switch to Manchester City but that failed to happen, and now there are suggestions any future transfer is unlikely after the player said he would prefer a move to London.

But it appears City came close to signing the 23-year-old in the winter, despite his release-clause of £42milion, so there is no reason they cannot secure him in the future, provided they pay what Porto are seeking.

It may well be that Manuel Pellegrini has moved on, with Portuguese international Pepe continually being mentioned. But considering Mangala’s quotes on that championship mentality, he could be exactly what the Blues are looking for.

After all, he admitted in the same interview that the last campaign taught him more about himself.

“When you win, it’s okay,” he said. “But when you pass through a difficult moment, you learn more.”

Now that sounds like the kind of player Pellegrini would enjoy working with…

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