Football: Benjamin Mendy on the verge of blockbuster £52m transfer to Manchester City

Benjamin Mendy (left) is set to become the most expensive defender in history.
Benjamin Mendy (left) is set to become the most expensive defender in history.PHOTO: AFP

(GUARDIAN) - Manchester City have agreed a fee of £52 million (S$92 million) with Monaco for Benjamin Mendy, with the France international set for a medical this week ahead of his proposed move.

Pep Guardiola had identified the 23-year-old left-back as one of his transfer priorities at the end of last season following the departure of compatriot Gael Clichy, but City saw three bids turned down for the player who only joined Monaco last season for £11m.

The third - a £44.5 million offer - was rejected on Thursday, with the French Ligue 1 champions demanding a fee in excess of the £50 million City paid Tottenham for English right-back Kyle Walker last week.

Late interest from Chelsea, who have been so far been frustrated in their attempts to sign Brazil international Alex Sandro from Juventus, prompted City to increase their offer for Mendy, meaning he will become the most expensive defender in history when the deal is complete.

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Born in Paris, Mendy came through Le Havre's youth system before moving to Marseille in 2013.

He made more than 100 appearances in three seasons before signing a five-year contract at Monaco last summer.

They won the French League for the first time since 2000 and reached the Champions League semi-finals, although Mendy now looks set to become the latest high-profile departure from that side after Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva's move to City for £42 million and Chelsea's signing of midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko for £34 million.