Laporte to miss start of Man City’s title defence

Aymeric Laporte will miss the start of Manchester City’s Premier League title defence after the Spain defender had surgery on a knee injury.

City manager Pep Guardiola revealed on Friday that Laporte needed the operation after struggling with the injury in the closing stages of last season.

The 28-year-old centre-back played through the pain barrier to help City win their fourth Premier League title in five seasons after a dramatic final-day victory against Aston Villa.

“Laporte is injured. He had knee surgery after last season, playing the last two or three games with an important injury. He made an incredible effort to do that but he could not continue,” Guardiola told reporters.

“So far he is doing really well but you have to be careful because it is a knee. He needs time. I think August he will be out, but maybe in September he will start to be with us.”

Laporte’s injury and the sale of Ukraine left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal have weakened Guardiola’s defensive options.

City have been linked with Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella and there have been reports that he has now handed in a transfer request at the Amex Stadium. – AFP

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