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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Watch: Pep Guardiola on new Man City signing Aymeric Laporte

Pep Guardiola declared that Manchester City’s signing of Aymeric Laporte will make their summer transfer business easier after City fast-tracked a move for the centre-back.

The Frenchman completed a £57 million (around Dh296m) move from Athletic Bilbao, making him City’s club record signing and Guardiola said he has the ability to succeed in England.

“He’s a young player, 23, left footed, and has played since a young age in La Liga on the big stages,” he said. "He’s strong in the air, good quality with the pass, and I'm delighted with what the club has done."

Laporte, who will take the No 14 shirt, was first targeted by City 18 months ago. Guardiola renewed his interest after City were short of centre-backs in the first half of the season, when both John Stones and Vincent Kompany have spent spells on the sidelines.

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While City had also considered the 30-year-old Jonny Evans, Guardiola said that Laporte represents a long-term choice.

While one player has joined his squad, another will be absent for longer than anticipated.

Leroy Sane, who was expected to be out for a month with the ankle injury sustained at Cardiff, has not been ruled out for six or seven weeks. The German is set to miss the League Cup final against Arsenal and the league meeting with Arsene Wenger’s side four days later.

Guardiola remains irritated by the dangerous challenge from Cardiff defender Joe Bennett which injured the winger and hopes his players will be afforded more protection.

“My feeling is English football is not like this,” he said.