Athletic Bilbao have tonight announced that star defender Aymeric Laporte has signed a new contract until 2020 with a €70 million release clause.
— Athletic Club (@AthleticClub) June 13, 2016
This comes as a huge blow to Pep Guardiola and City, who has earmarked the 22-year-old as a major target this summer, and according to many in the Spanish press, were very close to signing.
Laporte said of his decision, “I’ve had a long time to think and choose the best option, and have come to the conclusion that Athletic is the best thing for me.”
Reports have said Guardiola wanted both Laporte and John Stones at the Etihad, so attention is likely to turn to prising Stones away from Everton now. But what other impact will Laporte’s snub have? Will Jason Denayer be given a chance in the middle? Will Eliaquim Mangala remain at City? Or will City target another foreign defender instead of Laporte?