Manchester City have agreed a fee worth more than £51m (AU$ 84m) to sign Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy, Sky Sports News understands.
The 23-year-old France international is set to surpass the £50m-plus ($ 82m) deal made for Tottenham’s Kyle Walker and become the Premier League’s most expensive defender to date.
Mendy is preparing to fly out to Los Angeles to join up with City’s pre-season tour of the US. They face Real Madrid in LA in four days’ time.
City have been determined to sign him since the beginning of the transfer window, when Sky Sports News revealed he was a target for them, their rivals Manchester United and champions Chelsea.
City had a £44.5m ($ 73m) offer rejected earlier this week by Monaco, who valued him at more than Walker.
And Mendy subsequently hinted at a move to England when he posted an Instagram picture of himself in Union Jack shorts, accompanied by the caption: “See you soon.”
Mendy, who has spent just a single season at Monaco following a £13m ($ 21m) move from Marseille last summer, has emerged as one of the best left-backs in the game within the last 12 months, and one of a number of Monaco players of interest to other clubs following their French Ligue 1 triumph.
City, who have already signed Bernardo Silva from Monaco and are interested in their highly-coveted striker Kylian Mbappe, are in the market for a left-back following Gael Clichy’s departure.
Pep Guardiola is keen to sign the Brazil international and City are close to agreeing a €30m (£26.9m, $ 44m) deal for the 26-year-old, who made 24 appearances in all competitions for Madrid last season.
Danilo is now set to undergo a medical in the United States, where both Madrid and City remain on their respective pre-season tours.
Danilo could face his current side Madrid in a pre-season game on Wednesday, should his own move be finalised in the coming days.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Real manager Zinedine Zidane referred to Danilo and new Chelsea signing Alvaro Morata as former players.
“Danilo has gone, and Morata too,” he said.
Meanwhile, Matteo Darmian insists he is happy at Manchester United, despite reports linking the full-back with a summer return to Italy.
The defender came to Old Trafford from Torino for £12.7m ($ 21m) two years ago and, although his United career so far has been up and down at times, he finished last season on a high.
Having taken his time to win over manager Jose Mourinho, the 27-year-old started in the Europa League final win over Ajax and has subsequently been strongly linked with Champions League finalists Juventus.
But, when asked if he expected to be on the move, Darmian said: “Every time I read something about my future, but [there is] nothing news. I am happy here.
“I think also it is a part of our work, these kind of rumours.
“Like I said before, I am happy here so nothing news [wise]. I am a Manchester United player – that’s it.”
Mourinho will have some decisions to make regarding his defence this summer but Darmian’s ability to play on both flanks means he could again prove a key contributor.
“I always say the position doesn’t matter to me,” Darmian added.
“If I have to play left or right, I work hard to be ready when the manager gives me an opportunity, and that’s it.
“I try to do my best every time, every game. I try to work hard during the week and that’s my philosophy.”
Finally, Arsenal have rejected a £10m ($ 16.5m) bid from West Brom for Kieran Gibbs, according to Sky sources.
Sky Sports News understands the Gunners are holding out for closer to £12m ($ 20m) for the 27-year-old left-back.
Gibbs was not included in Arsene Wenger’s squad for the pre-season tour to Australia and China.
Sky sources reported earlier this week that Baggies boss Tony Pulis sees Gibbs as his best option at left-back this summer and had approached Arsenal to discuss a potential transfer.
Pulis, who is currently with his squad in Hong Kong for the Asia Trophy, has been looking for a specialist left-back.
Gibbs, 27, made just eight Premier League starts last season and 22 appearances in all competitions overall – his second season struggling for first-team games.
Gibbs has 10 England caps but has fallen out of the national-team frame while his chances have been limited under Wenger.
Gibbs is a product of Arsenal’s academy, who made his debut during the 2007/08 season after spending a short time on loan at Norwich City.
West Brom have so far made only two signings this summer; Jay Rodriguez from Southampton and Zhang Yuning from Vitesse but the 20-year-old has been loaned to Werder Bremen.