Porto unveil replacement for Manchester City’s £32m man Mangala

Eliaquim Mangala

The Portuguese club have wasted no time in recruiting a defender to fill the void left by France international Eliaqium Mangala.

The ink may only just have dried on Eliaqium Mangala’s new contract at Manchester City but the Frenchman’s previous employers Porto have moved quickly to bring in a replacement.

Part of Les Bleus’ squad at the World Cup in Brazil, the 23-year-old defender completed a £32 million switch to the Etihad this week, arriving at the club a day after their 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in the annual Community Shield.

A versatile defender capable of playing in either a central role or at left-back, Mangala excelled at Porto during a three-year stay with the Portuguese giants.

But it would appear that his former employers are keen to move on quickly, having recruited a like-for-like replacement in the form of Ivan Marcano from Rubin Kazan.

Something of a journeyman defender, despite being the relatively tender age of 27, Marcano made his name in Spain with Villarreal, before the Yellow Submarine’s La Liga relegation prompted the Spaniard to move away.

A spell with Olympiakos followed before Marcano moved to Russia, where he has largely excelled for Rubin, until his final season at the club, during which he lost his place in the first-team and returned to the Greek champions on loan.

Arriving at Porto for an undisclosed fee, he is likely to be a cut-price alternative to the big-money Mangala and could yet prove to be a major transfer coup for the 2004 Champions League winners, who have established a reputation for picking up bargains.

Marcano previously lined up for Rubin Kazan against Tottenham in the Europa League, keeping the Lilywhites relatively quiet in two separate group encounters.

Previously capped by Spain at under-21 level, an impressive season in Portugal could one day pave the way for a Premier League move, with the 6ft 2in Marcano possessing all the physical attributes required to excel in the division.

Who knows? Maybe Manchester City will be the ones lining up a bid for the defender, though that could depend on Mangala.


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