Football

Aymeric Laporte given £34m price tag by Athletic Bilbao

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Aymeric Laporte has signed a new contract with Athletic Bilbao that sees his release clause at San Mames increased to £34 million.

Such information comes courtesy of reports from The Daily Express, who further suggest that clause has only been extended by £4 million, but that such an amount may well be enough to ward off firm interest in his signature.

Premier League giants Manchester United and Arsenal are among those to have been linked with the 20-year-old, with the Red Devils presumably prioritising the addition of new defenders this summer in light of the imminent departures of experienced pair Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.

Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have established themselves as Arsene Wenger's first-choice centre-back duo in recent times, although, like counterpart Louis van Gaal, the Frenchman may find himself somewhat short of vital defensive cover in the near future with Bacary Sagna and captain Thomas Vermaelen - both of whom can be deployed in the middle of a back four - both expected to depart the Emirates Stadium.

A highly-rated French youth international, Laporte has established himself as a key figure in La Liga under experienced Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde.

He made 35 appearances for Los Leones last term as Athletic Bilbao managed to beat Europa League winners Sevilla to fourth-spot.

Whether he is yet worth such an exorbitant figure given his relative lack of experience is certainly a matter for debate, but Athletic Bilbao have certainly put themselves in an incredibly strong position.

By convincing Laporte to agree a new deal, the club have ensured that they do not run any imminent risk of losing such an encouraging and promising young talent for little reward and also guaranteed that, in the event that they do lose him, they will not do so without being significantly compensated in the process.

Manchester United and Arsenal fans - what do you make of Laporte? Would you be happy to see your club attempt to sign him? Is £34 million an unrealistic figure for such a young player? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box provided below.

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Topics:
La Liga
Football

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