Centre-back, Aymeric Laporte, arrives from Athletic Bilbao for a club record fee of £57m, a record previously held by Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne when he transferred from Wolfsburg for £55m in 2015.

The 23-year-old, who is Pep Guardiola's sixth signing of the 2017/18 season, has signed a deal until 2023 and is expected to partner either John Stones or Nicolás Otamendi at the heart of the defence.

Manchester City has a busy run of games coming up, with the opportunity of completing the quadruple on the horizon. With a 12 point lead in the title race, City is in prime position to clinch the Premier League title, while they are also into the fifth round of the FA Cup, the final of the Carabao Cup and the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Guardiola had cause for concern when it came to the reliability of Eliaquim Mangala and injury-prone skipper Vincent Kompany - who made his comeback against Cardiff in the last round of the FA Cup - forcing the manager to sign another central defender to fill that uncertainty.

Pep's thoughts on Laporte

Laporte had been close to joining Manchester City back in 2016, but the Frenchman pulled out at the latter stages of the deal and decided to sign a new contract with Athletic Bilbao, which would extend his stay at the club until 2020, albeit with a buyout clause rising to an initial €65 million.

Pep Guardiola and sporting director Txiki Begiristain were reportedly furious with the defender's decision and even went as far as to disregard Laporte last summer when a potential signing was on the cards. However, the club has obviously seen beyond this and the Premier League leaders decided to pay his €65 million (£57m) release clause in full.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of City's tie with West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday, Guardiola told the media that Laporte is "able to start right away........We are very aware of his skills, he's an experienced central defender on the big stages and has the skills to help us. He is the perfect age to be with us for a while."

Adding: "He's played since a young age in La Liga so at a high level.

He's strong in the air and fast. He's got good quality and we are delighted."

Career to date

The French Under-21 international issued a statement via his Twitter account on Monday, detailing his appreciation for the love he has received from his teammates and fans during his time with Athletic Bilbao.

Laporte spent six years with the Los Leones after breaking into the first team squad in 2012, clocking up 222 appearances with the club and scoring 10 goals in the process. The Agen native, who can also be deployed as a left-back, was named in La Liga's 2013/14 team of the year and was also part of the Bilbao team who claimed the club's first silverware in 31 years, by beating Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate to win the Supercopa de Espana Cup.

Regardless of the fact that Laporte impressed in Spain, he is yet to make a senior international appearance for France. Despite call-ups to Didier Deschamps France squad in September 2016 ahead of World Cup Qualifiers against Bulgaria and Holland, where he was an unused substitute on both occasions.