Manchester City have reportedly set a deadline for the French defender to make up his mind about whether he wants to join Pep Guardiola in the Premier League next season.
According to the Daily Star, the Manchester club have handed transfer target Aymeric Laporte a deadline to decide whether he is interested in a move to the Etihad Stadium. It is stated that the defender has until the end of the month to make up his mind. The player has been linked with a move to England for quite a while now, and it seems that come the end of the window, he will move away from Athletic Bilbao.
Manager Pep Guardiola has been a fan of the dynamic defender and has reportedly offered to triple his wages if he decides to make the move to the Citizens. Laporte would certainly bring a lot of solidity to the City defence, especially now that the club have released one of their centre-halves in Martin Demichelis. The 22-year-old could quickly adapt to the tricky nature of the league and could secure the position for the club for years to come.
Aymeric Laporte: Only Diego Godín (283) & Juanfran (270) have made more interceptions in the last 3 La Liga seasons than @Laporte (269)
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 3, 2016
According to the Daily Mail, Laporte has a buy-out clause of €39 million and City are believed to be willing to meet that asking rate. It is understood that Athletic will schedule a meeting with their defender in the coming week to have discussions about his future.
Laporte’s injury woes may decide the outcome of the transfer
New City boss Pep Guardiola has already roped in Ilkay Gundogan, who is exceedingly injury prone despite his undeniable quality. The Aymeric Laporte situation is similar to that of Gundogan’s and could make the former Bayern Munich coach think twice before making a move for the defender.
Players like Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva have been integral cogs to the success of the football club in the past few seasons, but they do not come with a clean bill of health. Kompany was ruled out for a good part of the 2015/16 season and just like Laporte, the Belgian missed out on Euro 2016 due to another spell on the sidelines. Aguero and Silva have worries of their own and have both faced extended spells on the sidelines over the past couple of seasons.
Shelling out a huge sum of money for a relatively inexperienced player in Laporte who is unlikely to play more than 25 games a season may prove to be a disaster for the Citizens. However, given his quality and their need for ball-playing centre-backs, that might be a risk Guardiola is willing to take.