Eliaquim Mangala was once again one of Valencia’s best performers as they could only manage a 1-1 draw with Sporting Gijon on Saturday. Unlike against Leganes a couple of games ago, Mangala wasn’t able to take on hero status by scoring the winner, but the central defender played well and was universally credited in the Spanish media.

This comes amid repeated reports from Spain that whilst Valencia have been pleased with Mangala, they’re not going to activate the €18m clause and make his loan from Manchester City permanent. There’s been suggestions a further loan deal would be welcomed by Valencia, but that’s not very beneficial to City, especially given that Mangala would only have a year left of contract if he was loaned out for a further year.

Valencia have agreed to pay a total of €18m for Simone Zaza and are looking at value additions for central defence, gambles who would be much cheaper than Mangala.

To avoid a difficult situation in the summer, it’s worth Manchester City having a look at their Mangala options right now. The Frenchman is represented by Jorge Mendes, which is how the Valencia move came about, but City need to find their own possibilities rather than working with what is best for Gestifute.

One option could be Marseille, newly in the money. Whilst the Ligue 1 club won’t have a bottomless pit in the summer, Marseille will be much more powerful than in previous summer windows.

A big problem at the French club is defence, it’s not been consistent enough. Marseille are in fifth but only 8 sides have conceded more goals in Ligue 1.

A fee of between €15m and €18m wouldn’t be too much for Marseille and to take a player with realistic ambitions of getting in the France squad regularly would be a boost to the club and a further upping of status.

There’s a little snag. Mangala was a boyhood PSG fan, and the two clubs loathe each other. However, the defender revealed last year he doesn’t watch PSG fanatically any longer, and in the same interview he was complimentary about Marseille.

Marseille were interested when Mangala was at Standard Liege and the idea of that interest representing itself is a believable one. Manchester City sounded out their options could not only present a straightforward summer transfer opportunity, but also give Valencia a nudge to panic over what they may be missing.

Whatever the exact outcome is, if it leads to Manchester City getting a reasonable fee for Mangala, then it’s worth starting the games now.