Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

PEP'S 1ST LAPORTE OF CALL ; CITY SET TO TRIGGER Pounds 39M RELEASE CLAUSE - BUT INJURY MAY THREATEN DEFENDER'S MOVE [City Region]

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

PEP'S 1ST LAPORTE OF CALL ; CITY SET TO TRIGGER Pounds 39M RELEASE CLAUSE - BUT INJURY MAY THREATEN DEFENDER'S MOVE [City Region]

Article excerpt

CITY are prepared to trigger Aymeric Laporte's Pounds 39.6million release clause, according to reports in Spain.

The Blues have made the Athletic Bilbao defender their number one defensive target this summer, after Pep Guardiola told City executives he wanted the player. But with other top clubs also in the hunt, headed by Barcelona, Spanish newspaper Marca says that City will pay the fee to leave Bilbao unable to negotiate.

They claim he will sign a five-year deal to join the Blues this summer.

However, Laporte was last night stretchered off with a nasty- looking knee injury whilst playing for France's Under-21s.

The 21-year-old fell awkwardly and looked to be in serious pain as he was taken off the field and City will want reassurances over his fitness ahead of any deal.

Laporte is believed to be keen to work under Guardiola and as a cultured, ballplaying 6ft 2in stopper, he fits into the new manager's blueprint. …

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