Mangala has emerged as one of the most highly-rated young defenders in Europe after starring at the back for Porto over the past three years since making the move from Standard Liege in 2011.
The 23-year-old’s impressive form has led to interest from England with Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United all linked with a move for the defender over the past 12 months.
City looked like they had won the race after reportedly agreeing a £32m deal and appeared it was only a matter of time before Mangala joined the Premier League champions this summer as Manuel Pellegrini looks to bring in a reliable partner for Vincent Kompany.
However, there could be a late twist as the Express are reporting that Chelsea and United are set to make late bids to try and derail City’s deal with both clubs expected to match the Citizens £32m offer.
If true and assuming Porto also accept their bids, then it would be up to Mangala to decide which of the trio to choose and going by his previous comments, you’d have to say Chelsea would be in the driving seat.
The France international was asked back in March which club out of Chelsea or City he’d join and the player admitted that his preference would be a move to Stamford Bridge due to it’s London location. Mangala told the Guardian:
“City or Chelsea? Chelsea because it is London. It is true that I love the Premier League because it is a spectacular championship.
“In January, there were discussions with City, but it fell through because the two clubs could not reach an agreement. Every player wants to play in the biggest clubs.”
Obviously things can change and should either City or United offer better financial terms then Mangala could still opt for a move to Manchester, but the Blues will be confident of winning the race given the players apparent preference for London.Jose Mourinho is likely to bring in another centre-back this summer as he not only needs to replace David Luiz but he’ll also be thinking about a long-term replacement for skipper John Terry, and Mangala would be an excellent addition
However, with new United boss Louis van Gaal also on the look-out for at least one centre-back after losing both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic this summer, and City still in the driving seat, it’s going to be interesting to see where Mangala ends up this summer.