It seems as if during every transfer window Manchester City are linked with Aymeric Laporte. January 2017 appears to be no different. Many sources are suggesting Pep Guadiola wants to bring the 22-year-old Frenchman to the Etihad during the January transfer window after allegedly missing out on him last summer.
The defender turned down a move to Manchester in the summer as it seemed he was happy in Bilbao. However, rumours have resurfaced that Pep’s interest is appearing to be greater than ever. On top of this, the French defender has been hinting at a move away from Spain. He has told Spanish newspaper El Correo he will “think about offers and, if new proposals come along, I will study them”.
Laporte, 22, is yet to earn his first senior national team cap however he has captained France at Under 17, 18, 19 and 21 level. Back in the summer of 2013, Aymeric was part of the France Under 19 team that finished runner up to Serbia in the UEFA European Championships. Despite representing France so heavily, he has also hinted he may be open to representing Spain if he is rejected by the French senior side anymore.
Spain is in fact where Laporte is currently playing his club football for Athletic Bilbao, and, at such a tender age, his is collection of over 100 appearances isn’t easy to ignore. His debut came back in 2012 during which he completed a full 90 minutes in a UEFA Europa League match, impressive for an 18-year-old I think you’d agree.
Laporte has found himself as a regular starter in the back four for Bilbao under current manager Ernesto Valverde. Perhaps explaining why back in June 2016, the club extended his contract until 2020, his contract also included a buyout clause of an alleged €65 million.
€65 million for a 22-year old would make most clubs think twice, however this is Manchester City. The owners of the Manchester club aren’t afraid to pay out lots of money for potential world-beaters as football fans have witnessed. Leroy Sane, John Stones and Gabriel Jesus are just three examples from last summer alone.
City won’t be worried with the money needed for Laporte, instead they’ll be more worried about the ever-growing Chelsea lead at the top of the Premier League table. Sorting out the defensive problems wI’ll be key in doing this.
After keeping only four clean sheets this season, is it time for Guardiola to stop playing full backs at centre back? Is it time to buy Laporte to fill in the gap left by Kompany’s injuries?