Manchester United’s pursuit of a world class defender to fill up the void left by Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand could see the club going for established names in the summer. The likes of Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) and Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid) have been considered as potential targets, and the general feeling that runs among the fans and journalists is United will spend heavily in the next transfer window to bolster their defence and midfield.
Spanish journalist Guillem Ballague recently claimed that Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte would be happy to join Manchester United if the Red Devils pay his £31m ( €42m) release clause. United have shown a strong interest in him and are in contact with the player’s agent in recent months over a possible transfer.
The French young defender is an exceptionally gifted player who through sheer consistency has become the undisputed first choice at San Mames.
From past experience, we know, it is difficult to out-haggle Bilbao from the negotiation table, but having already signed Ander Herrera in the summer from the Andalusian club, United do have a good rapport with the La Liga outfit that could help them sign the prodigiously gifted youngster.
Laporte is far from being a finished article but his gradual progress could see him become a world class player in future. The youngster is fast, skilful, confident on the ball and physically strong (much needed attribute to shine in the Premier League). He has won more aerial duels than any other players in La Liga this season.
Aymeric Laporte. Has won more aerial duels than any other player in La Liga – 40. pic.twitter.com/iZHOmEIeyB
— Scout Watch (@scoutwatch_) January 21, 2015
His having made more interceptions than any other players in the league clearly indicates that he is an excellent reader of the game. He has impressed in the middle and has been occasionally deployed at left back and therefore should be an ideal fit in Van Gaal’s 3-man defence at United.
66 – Only Aymeric Laporte (67) has made more interceptions than Gabriel Paulista in La Liga this season. Coveted.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 23, 2015
The only thing that goes against him is his lack of experience, as United probably would be looking for an experienced defender in the summer, someone who has wealth of European and International experience under the belt. Laporte has yet to make an appearance for the senior France national team but Didier Deschamps rates him highly and is a keen admirer of his talents. With Laporte, patience is key.
Laporte hasn’t said explicitly about his future but he has indeed sacked his agent, and although the Spanish press aren’t too bothered about him leaving the club any time soon, a mouth-watering offer from United could change everything.