Barcelona are reportedly interested in and are considering a summer move for French international Aymeric Laporte, who currently plays for Manchester City.
According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Aymeric Laporte is a name that is high on the summer wishlist at Barcelona. The Catalans are looking to shake up their options in central defence and are considering a move for the Manchester City defender in the summer.
The report says that Barcelona were tracking Laporte since his Athletic Bilbao days, but had to pull out due to the astronomical release clause attached to his contract. Now that Manchester City have been banned from European football for two years, the Catalan giants are looking to use this as an opportunity to snatch Laporte away from the defending Premier League champions.
Aymeric Laporte has been one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League since making his move to Manchester City from Athletic Bilbao. Showing poise and presence at the back combined with composure and technicality while participating in the build-up play, the Frenchman has been a perfect fit within Pep Guardiola’s footballing style at Etihad.
Barcelona employ a similar footballing style and could use a central defender like Laporte. The Catalan giants currently have an ageing Gerard Pique, an injury-prone Samuel Umtiti, which leaves Clement Lenglet as the only long-term option at centre-back. Umtiti is being linked with a summer move away from the club, with Premier League clubs considering summer bids.
Manchester City have had a torrid domestic season to date but were still competing for the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, having won the Carabao Cup already. The season is now suspended for the foreseeable future amid the coronavirus outbreak. But, the underlying problem lies in the two-year ban imposed on Manchester City related to European competitions, which starts from the upcoming season.
Should that hold up, Laporte will be without European football at City and could be enticed to take up the offer of moving to a club of Barcelona’s stature. The Catalans have been linked to other names like Luis Felipe, but Laporte would obviously be the preferred choice if available.