The destiny of every Porto player, eventually, is to become a profit margin, and travel to a bigger, better league & club while Porto make double or triple the amount invested in him. Eliaquim Mangala will probably be one of those players, with Manchester United chasing the French centre back, although Manchester City, Bayern Munich and AC Milan are also on his trail.
Mangala, 22, arrived at Porto from Standard Liege in 2011 for €6.5 million after three seasons with the Belgian club. He wasn’t a big part of the Portuguese champions’ setup last season, playing in only 7 league matches, but this season he’s a vital piece of a defense that has conceded only 10 goals in 20 league matches. He has also appeared 23 times for the France U-21 team, and if he keeps up this sort of ability, will be a part of the national team setup pretty soon.
Mangala is an interesting case of a player who can play quite a few positions – he was actually a striker before being scouted and discovered by Standard Liege, while playing for the Namur youth setup. In Belgium they converted him into a left back before moving him to the center of defense pretty soon. He’s tall (6’2), athletic and very fast for his position, making him an ideal signing for any defense that isn’t just looking for a certain position to strength, but an all-arounder who can contribute anywhere you put him on the pitch.
Manchester United and Alex Ferguson love these hybrid defenders like Phil Jones and Chris Smalling who might excel in one certain position, but have the ability to play elsewhere as well. United have been looking for a centre back for the futrue for quite some time, realizing that Nemanja Vidic doesn’t have much left, as does Rio Ferdinand. Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling aren’t enough for the time being so it seems, and playing like Mangala are being chased in order to secure a better defense in the coming years.
The price? Porto always make a big profit, and if anyone will be coming to their door looking to sign the 22 year old, it will probably cost them at least £15 million.