Manchester City have informed Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte that they will activate his €50 million (£39.1 million) release clause next week, according to local source El Correo.
22-year-old Laporte, one of Europe’s most highly-rated young defenders, will meet with Athletic president Josu Urrutia in the coming days and listen to an offer to continue at the Basque club. Like most of the homegrown players at the club, Laporte is very loyal and could yet be convinced to stay. City, however, are pushing hard to close a deal for one of the few elite young centre-backs on the market.
El Correo report that City have chosen a powerful brokerage firm based in Madrid to lead the operation, and will offer Laporte a 5-year deal worth £5.85 million net per year, triple what he currently earns at Athletic. Laporte will receive medical clearance after a lengthy injury in the coming hours, which, as the newspaper has previously reported, will signal the beginning of this deal.
The report states that City’s desire is to partner Laporte with Everton defender John Stones, but that they are facing resistance from Everton.