Eliaquim Mangala

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Mangala leaves Man City for Valencia return

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Once among the most expensive defensive signings in football, Eliaquim Mangala is leaving Manchester City for pennies on the dollar (or pound).

Valencia announced the center back’s capture on Monday, saying the 28-year-old would join on a two-year deal.

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Mangala joined Man City from Porto for $54 million in 2014 and appeared 79 times over parts of three seasons, taking a short loan at Everton and a full season in La Liga.

That was 2016-17 with his new club Valencia, where he played in 30 matches and posted two goals with decent defensive numbers.

Last season he logged around 600 minutes for City and another 134 with Everton, but signed a one-year contract extension late in the season. His lone bit of silverware with City came in 2017-18.

Given his age and position, we may still see some return on Mangala’s promise. $54 million for defenders may not be anything too crazy these days, but it certainly was in 2014. His time wasn’t quite a bust — he put in a pretty good performance during his first season at the Etihad Stadium — but it was very close.

Man City: John Stones limps off with leg injury

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One Man City center back took a yellow card in the third minute, while another is in even more trouble on Saturday at King Power Stadium.

John Stones pulled up with an apparent hamstring injury in the 28th minute of Man City’s visit to Leicester City.

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Running stride for stride for Demarai Gray, Stones grabbed at his upper left leg and crumpled to the pitch.

Eliaquim Mangala replaced the improving English big back, and City will hope Stones’ absence isn’t as long as some hamstring ailments.

Report: Manchester City to leave Hart, Bony, Mangala and Nasri off U.S. tour

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Some of Manchester City’s most expensive signings will be left home this month as the team heads to the U.S. for the start of its preseason slate.

According to the Daily Mail, Pep Guardiola has decided to leave goalkeeper Joe Hart, defenders Eliaquim Mangala and Jason Denayer, midfielder Samir Nasri and forward Wilfried Bony back in Manchester ahead of the club’s U.S. tour. Combined, the players are reportedly valued at more than $155 million.

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All five players spent last season away from the Etihad Stadium on loan and are reportedly not in Guardiola’s plans for the upcoming season.

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Mangala replaces Mathieu in France squad

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PARIS (AP) Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu has been removed from the France squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers for an unspecified reason.

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The French football federation gave no explanation for coach Didier Deschamps’s decision to replace Mathieu with Eliaquim Mangala, only saying he made the move “following a discussion” with the Barcelona player. Mangala is currently on a season-long loan at Valencia from Manchester City.

France takes on Bulgaria on Oct. 7 at the Stade de France before traveling to Amsterdam to play the Netherlands three days later in Group A.

Manchester City continues to trim squad with Mangala, Nasri deals reportedly likely

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Pep Guardiola has brought in a full band of reinforcements to Manchester City this summer, and now he must make room.

With Joe Hart almost certain to move to Italian club Torino in the next few days, a few other City players banished by Guardiola may be set to depart as well.

Manchester City can only include 17 foreign players on its Champions League roster, meaning it must leave off two of the 19 currently with the club. With Hart leaving, that is one less homegrown player on the roster. That is leading Pep Guardiola to try and find new homes for the likes of Eliaquim Mangala and Samir Nasri.

France Football reports that Mangala could be headed back to his former club FC Porto on loan, and according to reports in England, the Manchester club might be forced to eat wages in order to make that happen. Tottenham is apparently also interested for a permanent move, but they’d likely want him at a price significantly cheaper than the $55 million City paid for him just two years ago. Other clubs reportedly in for Mangala include Valencia and Napoli, with the former having just sold Shkodran Mustafi to Arsenal and would likely be searching for a replacement.

According to a number of reports in Spain, Samir Nasri has piqued the interest of La Liga side Sevilla. Nasri has seen his playing time at City decline for a number of years, and in the process was ousted from the French national team. According to AS, with the possibility of Nasri’s all-out exclusion from the City squad, he has interest from the Spanish club as well as Besiktas in Turkey. Like Mangala, however, Nasri’s hefty contract is forcing City to consider much of his wages as sunk.

Nasri’s departure is less imminent, however, considering Guardiola’s praise of him after the 3-1 win over West Ham on Sunday. The Spaniard said Nasri could stay, and while the player appreciated the sentiments, he also admitted a switch is yet possible. “Yes, there could still be movement,” Nasri said. “It depends on a lot of things in fact. There’s been a lot of speculation. Things that are true. Things that are false too because they’ve never shown me the door or anything like that.”

Even Stevan Jovetic has been looking for a way out of the Etihad, but a possible move to Fiorentina apparently was nixed over a disagreement on wages.