The 21-year-old French U-21 international currently plays for La Liga side Athletic Bilbao and is a regular starter for the club, with his contract running up till 2019 and a release clause of €50 million.

Owing to his incredible tactics and a composed defensive attribute, Aymeric Laporte has been on the radar of a host of big clubs in La Liga as well as the English Premier League, Manchester United being one of them.

Although Manchester United haven’t been completely lost in front of their own goal as their defence has conceded 22 goals in 25 Premier League fixtures so far this season, which is an improvement from the previous two seasons. But in order to command the same respect and terror as once their back-four did, signing a capable central defender such as Aymeric Laporte should be crucial to their cause.

Jorge Mendes represents the French defender too, and his arrival seems imminent to Old Trafford as his agent shares a good bond with Ed Woodward, and this relation has earlier helped Manchester United land players of the calibre of Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria.

Aymeric Laporte rejected a potential Barcelona move.

The French defender has refused a potential move to Barcelona and says he wants to concentrate on his football at Athletic Bilbao, as he has been for the past few years.

Talking to Telefoot, Laporte said, “FC Barcelona is one of the most important clubs in the world, but I would reject an offer from them. They have not talked to me to present an offer, not this season or last, but it wouldn’t interest me.”

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Laporte broke into Athletic Bilbao’s first team on December 17, 2012.

Only the second French footballer to play for the Basque-based club, Laporte has become a fan favourite since his debut match as an 18-year-old against Celta Vigo and soon became a regular name on the first-team sheet.

Two months after his debut, in February 2013, Aymeric Laporte was given a contract extension with the club with his contract running till 2016 and a release clause of 27.5 million.

Laporte has since become a starter for his team, scoring his first in November 2013 and signing another contract extension in 2015, which saw him signing to stay at the club until 2019. He has scored on seven occasions so far in his career, and out of that 5 goals have been scored in the 2015-16 season.

The defender who has now made more than 135 appearances for the club in all competitions, came through Athletic Bilbao’s feeder team, reserve team and then made it to the first-team squad after three years of joining the club as a youth.

The U-21 defender hopes of being called up for the host nation of Euro 2016

Aymeric Laporte has represented France in the under-17, under-18, under-19 and under-21 teams and now has set his sight on being called up for the upcoming Euro 2016. He has made 50 appearances since he started representing France in U-17, 18, 19 and 21 and has scored thrice.

In an interview to Onda Vasca (local radio station), Laporte said, “‘If the coach told me that he did not want to rely on me, there are other alternatives.”

The interview ended with a controversy suggesting that Laporte is keeping his options open and might be leaning towards the Spanish national team if he’s not called up for the French squad.

Didier Deschamps has a plethora of options in defence — namely Raphael Varane (Real Madrid CF), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool FC), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal FC), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Jeremy Mathieu (FC Barcelona) and Kurt Zouma (Chelsea FC) —  and a call for the 21-year-old seems unlikely.

Clearing the air and maintaining that he wishes to play for the Euro 2016 hosts now and in the future too, Laporte took to twitter to say, “‘My objective is to reach the senior France team. I’m still young and I have a lot of years in which to do that. There is no rush, only a lot of excitement.”

“I Want to play for the France team and, contrary to what is being said, I am not putting the coach under any pressure to call me up, neither have I given a nod to the Spanish team, with all due respect to them,” he added.

It is too soon to say whether or not Laporte is destined for greatness, but with his calm, composed and controlled playing style, the 21-year-old has shown signs that he is an above-average, not your regular run-of-the-mill defender.

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