Best Form Of Attack? Manchester City to Take Spending on Defense to £280 Million

Manchester City are on the verge of signing Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for a club-record £57 million, taking Pep Guardiola's spending at the club to £280 million on his defense.

The French center-back has been a target of Guardiola's for some time and is expected to complete the move to the Etihad Stadium before the transfer deadline on Wednesday (January 31).

The fee is likely to reach £57 million, seeing Manchester City set a new club transfer record and make Laporte the second most expensive defender in the world, according to the BBC. Virgil Van Dijk moved to Liverpool for £75 million earlier this month.

City's current transfer record is set at £55 million from when they bought former Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne from Wolfsburg in 2015.

Laporte is one of the most highly-regarded defenders in La Liga and has been playing in the first-team since 2012, aged 18. But the move is more telling about Guardiola's focus at City.

While Jose Mourinho and Manchester United have just completed the mega deal of Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford from Arsenal, having signed Romelu Lukaku in the summer, City are looking to the defense.

Aymeric Laporte
Aymeric Laporte at Ostersund, Sweden, October 18, 2017. Laporte is expected to become Manchester City's most expensive player in history. ROBERT HENRIKSSON/AFP/Getty

Laporte would be the fifth defender Guardiola has bought since joining Manchester City in the summer of 2016. John Stones, Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy have added up to a total of £171 million, with Laporte's likely move taking that to £228 million.

Factor in Guardiola's pursuit for the perfect goalkeeper and we reach £280 million. First, Guardiola brought in Claudio Bravo from Barcelona after ostracizing Joe Hart.

The Chilean goalkeeper struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League and was replaced in the summer, with City paying Benfica £35 million for 23-year-old Ederson.

Guardiola's team has a 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League table with 14 games of the season remaining, and it seems the Spaniard is set on putting up a strong defense.