Manchester United and Arsenal are linked with a move for Aymeric Laporte who is currently playing for Atheltic Bilbao in the Spanish La Liga. As with most talented youngsters, the 20 year old defender is also being closely monitored by other heavy weights such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Barcelona.

The twenty old defender from France has been identified as one of the most talented up coming centre-backs in Europe and is being actively chased by Manchester United and Arsenal with Chelsea too keeping an eye out for the defender.

According to reports, Manchester United are keen to sign a defender in January in order to help Van Gaal plug his defensive woes. United have lost several defenders due to injuries and suspensions this season and Van Gaal has been unable to form an efficient partnership at the heart of United’s defence. Defensively weak, United have been unable to keep the opposition at bay and have conceded a total of 14 goals in just 11 league outings.

Hence it seems logical that Manchester United are keenly monitoring Aymeric Laporte who reportedly has a release clause of £32 million in his contract with Bilbao. Just twenty years old, Laporte has been a part of the season right from the start and has played each and every minute in the La Liga this season. Having established himself as a regular, Laporte already has 71 caps to his name for Athletico Bilbao. Having learnt the trade with Bilbao, Laporte is good with his feet and has the ability to carry the ball from the defence. He is also strong in the air which makes him a solid centre-back. Standing at 6’2, Laporte  has the built needed to survive a move to Premier League but will have to be eased into a new club if he does eventually make a switch.

Meanwhile Manchester United have also been linked with a move for Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar and Atletico Madrid’s Miranda. Rumours also link United with Real Madrid youngster Raphael Varane with Chelsea also into the fray for the defender. With Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling regularly injured or suspended for United, Van Gaal is in a desperate need for defenders and could look at Laporte both as quick fix for this season and then eventually as a long-term prospect at Old Trafford. Having splashed a lot of money in the transfer market already, United have shown that they are not shy and are quite capable of meeting the defender’s release clause if need be. With Ander Herrera already in the squad, Laporte might just follow in his footsteps and land up at Manchester United.

THT Verdict: Though this is a possible transfer move, Laporte might opt out of a move to a bigger club and could instead focus on developing himself as a regular starter at Atheltic Bilbao. However if the defender does become available in January, one can expect a bidding war over the youngster with Chelsea and Arsenal vying with United to add the defender to their squad.