Manchester United are interested in making a move to sign Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao this summer, despite the fact that he has a release clause with the Basque club worth £30 million.
The young centre-back has impressed in La Liga this year and thus enhanced his reputation, and United’s need for new defenders has been made evident by their repeatedly sloppy displays at the back.
At the moment Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo are competing for the spots in the heart of the back four, with academy graduates Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett having being used in reserve.
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The latter two of those names recently penned new deals at Old Trafford, implying that Louis van Gaal is confident about using them more in the future, though neither is yet at the level of Laporte. The Frenchman has already solidified a position in Bilbao’s starting XI, and his club know all too well how important he may become having lifted his release clause last summer to reflect his value to them.
Summer move for Laporte
Despite the fact that Van Gaal will have copious amounts of money to spent come the end of the season The Guardian believe the €42m (£30m) clause in Laporte’s deal in Spain, which isn’t set to expire until 2017, could prove to be a stumbling block.
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Not only is the 20-year-old untested outside of La Liga but he’d also be expected to marshall the back-four. Van Gaal is looking for a leader after all, not just another defender who might turn out to be a diamond in the ruff.
The wrong man?
In this respect they’d perhaps be better served putting the figure towards the capture of someone like Mats Hummels; a defender who has proven he can lead at the highest level and would have an easier task at winning over the dressing room. For all of Laporte’s potential he might not turn out to be the player fans are expecting him to, and Van Gaal would do well to dodge anymore bullets in the transfer market.
So far not many of the Dutchman’s buys have warranted a place in a club steeped in a rich history. Angel Di Maria has yet to dismiss his critics, Luke Shaw hasn’t hit the ground running, Radamel Falcao is having arguably the worst campaign of his career and Ander Herrera has spent his debut season in England trying to prove he’s better than the bench. Laporte might well be a good option to help shore up a leaky back-line, but at £30 million he’s far too pricy.
United fans, who do you want to see embedded into the heart of your back four? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below...