Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte has claimed reports suggesting he would not consider an offer to join Barcelona have misinterpreted his words.
The 21-year-old has since clarified his allegedly misconstrued remarks in an interview with French TV's Telefoot, by insisting he would listen to an offer from the La Liga champions if they made an approach.
"At no time did I make the statements that have been published by a number of media outlets," Laporte said, according to FourFourTwo.
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"All I said was that in order to make a decision about an offer from Barcelona, there would actually have to be an offer first before considering it.
"And what's even more important is that any offer would have to go through the club first."
The likes of Barca, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are said to be keen on the France Under-21 international since he made his La Liga debut at 18-years-old in November 2012.
However, the chances of him leaving Bilbao any time soon took a major hit in June last year following his decision to pen a new four-year contract until 2019.
Laporte also has a reported €50 million (£38.7 million) release clause included in his current deal, though it has so far failed to dampen numerous top European clubs’ interest in the highly-rated defender.
What’s more, the Frenchman’s latest comments regarding his attitude towards swapping San Mames for the Camp Nou have potentially opened the door for one of his many admirers to step up their interest this summer.
He has cemented his status as a crucial player for the Basque outfit having displayed a level of maturity well beyond his years over the course of more than 100 La Liga appearances.
An elegant central defender with a gifted left foot to underpin his sublime ball distribution, the 21-year-old is undoubtedly one of the most promising talents in world football and a deserved recipient of his esteemed reputation.
He has played an integral role in Los Leones’ fourth and seventh-placed finishes in the previous two campaigns and continues to turn heads this season as they pursue European qualification for the second year running.