Manchester City have reportedly agreed to allow Eliaquim Mangala to join Napoli on loan. The out-of-favour Frenchman has become a peripheral figure at the Etihad Stadium under new City boss Pep Guardiola and is on the cusp of leaving the club in the search of regular first-team football.
City recently signed the highly-rated central defender John Stones from Everton, while Guardiola's decision to employ Aleksandar Kolarov alongside him has served to emphasise just how far Mangala's stock has fallen. Mangala has started 47 league games since City paid £42m ($55.5m) for him in 2014, but he has never cemented his place in the team.
Mangala's impending switch to Serie A may help City's Premier League rivals Chelsea in their attempts to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from the Italian side. The City defender's arrival could prompt Napoli to give Koulibaly the go-ahead to join Chelsea, who are in the market for a new central defender, according to The Times.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte recently confessed the club are trying to recruit new players before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. However, he also bemoaned the "crazy" prices being quoted for players.
"We have a plan. We know this transfer market is very crazy," the Chelsea manager said. "We must be patient to find the right solutions for the team, to improve this squad. I'm very happy to work with these players. They show great commitment every day."
Chelsea are reported to have bid around £38m ($49.7m) for the Napoli centre-back. However, the Serie A club – who sold Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus earlier this summer – have thus far resisted their interest.