Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte is ready to fight for a starting spot
By Jay Harris
Last Updated: 22/07/19 1:45pm
Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte is prepared to fight for his starting spot this season.
Following the departure of club captain Vincent Kompany, Pep Guardiola wants to reinforce the team's defence and he has been linked with a £70m move for Leicester City's Harry Maguire.
City currently only have three recognised centre-halves and they are under increasing pressure to add more 'homegrown' players to their squad, so a deal for Maguire, who has been capped by England 20 times, could be an attractive option.
But, whatever happens in the final few weeks of the window, Laporte remains determined to hold onto his starting role.
"Hopefully it can be the same this year. I'm here to start. I'm going to work for that," he said.
"I don't know [if the club will buy]. Ask Pep what he wants. I think the three of us [Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi] are putting ourselves forward to play every game, but we don't decide. The club decides for us."
Sky Sports News revealed last week Maguire would be honoured to follow in the footsteps of his heroes Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand by playing for Manchester United, yet City boss Guardiola remains coy on the subject.
"There is a chance but I don't know if it will be possible [to sign a defender]," Guardiola said.
"We have three good central defenders, Fernandinho can play in that position, so we will see.
"We are so happy in the squad that we have. I don't know what's going to happen in the end of the market; if the players still here are going to stay or if players are going to come. I'm delighted with the players we have."
City are currently on their pre-season tour in China as they prepare to replicate last year's impressive achievements.
The club won a domestic treble and reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League but Laporte recognises it will be hard to repeat that success.
"We will try," he said.
"I think we have the same team and there's someone else who has come in who can complete the team but we know it will be difficult."