If Sam Allardyce had his way, Eliaquim Mangala might not be preparing himself for six months at Everton.
Mangala had shown signs of improvement in the last few months under Pep Guardiola, albeit not managing to show why City paid Porto £32 million for him in 2014. But the club-record signing of Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte forced Mangala out of Manchester and towards Merseyside.
It is understood that the Toffees only moved to sign the former Valencia loanee once it became clear that their long-running attempts to bring Adama Soumaoro to Goodison Park from Lille were doomed.
It is understood that Everton made a £19 million bid for the 25-year-old. But with Lille in genuine danger of relegation, owner Gerard Lopez understandably did not want to sell any of his key players.
This will have come as a blow to Everton, who sent chief scout Martyn Glover and director of football Steve Walsh to watch Soumaoro in person late in January.
So the Toffees will be hopeful that Mangala can perform like he has done for the last few months at City rather than regressing into the bumbling, error-prone centre-back who flopped badly in his early years at the Etihad Stadium.
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