Manchester City are closing in on a deal for £20m-rated Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala from under the noses of Chelsea and Manchester United, according to reports.
The 23-year-old, who moved to Porto in 2011 for £5.4m from Standard Liege after impressing in the Belgian Pro League, has garnered a reputation as one of the most promising centre-backs around Europe.
According to the Daily Mail, City are ready to tie up a deal for £20m for the French international, as boss Manuel Pellegrini wants to renew his efforts to sign the centre-back in the summer - Joleon Lescott's contract expires at the end of the season and Martin Demichelis and Matija Nastasic have failed to prove themselves as consistent partners for Vicent Kompany.
City were close to securing his services during the January transfer window but City's £35m double swoop for him and team-mate Fernando collapsed on deadline day.
Sporting director Txiki Begiristain was in Portugal on Thursday night and watched Mangala score the winner for Luis Castro's side's 1-0 Europa League victory over Sevilla and the City chief hopes to conclude a deal for the youngster ahead of the next season.
Mangala has won back-to-back Primeira Liga titles with Porto in his two full campaigns at the club and has so far this season made 19 league appearances as starter and scored four goals in all competitions.
The Portuguese club are struggling this season, finding themselves in third place, 15 points adrift of league-leading Benfica with just five matches to play.