Manchester City have accepted a bid from Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr for defender Aymeric Laporte, who was recently linked with Arsenal.

A potentially long-term injury to new signing Jurrien Timber has meant that Arsenal may enter the market to find a replacement, and the 29-year-old emerged as an option, with Mikel Arteta fond of the player.

However, a deal looked unlikely given Man City’s reluctance to help strengthen a title rival, and it now seems that they have got their wish by selling the Spain international abroad.

Journalist David Ornstein has now confirmed that Man City have accepted a bid for Laporte, and that the centre-back is open to the move, which will see him line up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane.

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This now means that if Arsenal are indeed keen on signing a centre-back, they will have to look elsewhere.

Was Laporte the right target for Arsenal?

There is no doubting Laporte’s quality, and Pep Guardiola has described him as “exceptional” in the past. However, he saw his game time reduced last season, making just 12 appearances in the Premier League, and the signing of Josko Gvardiol meant a move looked certain this summer.

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However, as a left-sided centre-back, it was unclear how Laporte would replace Timber, who lined up as a left-back in his two appearances before his injury. Timber was signed as a versatile defender who could cover across the back line, but primarily we would have seen him as a full-back on either side.

Whilst Laporte has appeared as a left-back in the past, it is not his natural position, and given that Arsenal have a settled partnership of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes, it would have been a surprise to see Laporte arrive as an immediate starter.

Given his age, recent injury record, and the potential finances involved, even if Arsenal could convince Man City to offer their defender to Mikel Arteta’s side, this may not have been the best move in the final few weeks of this transfer window.

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