Manchester City complete £57m deal for Aymeric Laporte
Premier League leaders Manchester City have announced the signing of centre-back Aymeric Laporte in a £57 million deal from Athletic Bilbao.
The 23-year-old came through the youth ranks at the Basque club, initially playing for the club’s reserve team in the Segunda División B for the start of the 2012-13 season.
Laporte made his La Liga debut for Athletic Bilbao as a last minute substitute in a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo on 9 December 2012 as an 18-year-old. The French youngster would play a total of 15 games in the Spanish league that season and go on to become a first team regular ever since.
Despite his price he is still yet to make his debut for the senior France national team but has played at under-17, under-18, under-19 and under-21 levels, turning out on 19 occasions for the latter.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola had been chasing the French defender throughout the month to add to his squad which currently has injury-prone Vincent Kompany, former-Valencia Nicolás Otamendi, John Stones and Eliaquim Mangala as options in the middle of his back four.
The Citizens currently have a 12-point lead in the Premier League and are set to face FC Basel in their UEFA Champions League second round tie next month.