Laporte (left) facing Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. Jack Abuin
Rumour Mill

Pep in for €65m-rated La Liga defender and all today's transfer gossip

Elsewhere, strikers are top of a couple of wishlists, while Jonny Evans could be off to Arsenal.

HERE ARE THE good, the bad, and the unlikely football moves being talked about today…

Yesterday, we explained how Manchester City are planning to bolster their squad with the addition of Brazilian midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Now it seems the Premier League leaders will also bring in another defender this month. Having toyed with the idea of signing former Man United centre-half Jonny Evans from West Brom, City have turned their attention to Aymeric Laporte of Athletic Bilbaro.

The Frenchman, 23, has a release clause of €65 million but Marca are reporting that they’re willing to pay it.

Northern Ireland international Evans, meanwhile, could instead end up heading to Arsenal as the Gunners would like to secure his services. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has already come in, while they are working hard to wrap up a deal for Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Wenger has also insisted that he wants to keep hold of Danny Welbeck despite interest from Besiktas and Crystal Palace.

Brighton are in the market for a striker and they have reportedly bid for Newcastle’s Aleksandar Mitrovic. However, the offer has been rejected as the Magpies hold out for £15 million.

That’s because Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has set his sights on Nicolai Jorgensen of Feyenoord. The Danish centre forward has 26 goals in 43 games for the Eredivisie side, who want £20m.

Retro Deal of the Day: Fernando Hierro to Bolton Wanderers

After a 16-season career at Real Madrid that saw him win five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues, Fernando Hierro opted to make a surprise move to Qatari club Al Rayyan in 2003.

However, that was short-lived as Sam Allardyce enticed him to join his foreign legion at Bolton Wanderers — along with the likes of Ivan Campo, Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff and Bruno N’Gotty.

Bolton Wanderers' New Signings Hierro with Big Sam, Tal Ben-Haim and Julio Cesar. PA Archive / PA Images PA Archive / PA Images / PA Images

A world-class defender in his day, Hierro was well passed his best by the time he made it to English football but managed 29 league appearances for the Trotters in his one season before retiring in May 2005.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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