The long tug-of-war between Spain and France for Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte continues after the World Cup winners left the defender out of their squad that triumphed in Russia.
In August 2016, with the urging of Julen Lopetegui, then the Spain boss, Laporte began the process of making himself eligible for Spain. One month later, he was called up to the senior France squad for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and the Netherlands in October, and decided he would instead represent France.
However, Laporte wasn’t used by France after being summoned and at the age of 24, remains uncapped despite his enormous talent.
Sensing opportunity after Laporte was snubbed by France for the World Cup, new Spain boss Luis Enrique is hoping to convince him to change his mind again, a report by Mundo Deportivo claims.
Enrique has a tantilising carrot to lure Laporte back to Spain and that is a place in his plans for the UEFA Euro 2020 championship as the team’s left-footed centre-back. With Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos not getting any younger and a shortage of obvious replacements, the City man could definitely have a place at the next major European competition.
The problem for Laporte with France is the exceptional pair of Samuel Umtiti and Raphaël Varane, a duo drawn from Barcelona and Real Madrid, stand in his way. With Umtiti only 24 and Varane also a young man at 25, the two seem to be going nowhere, making entry into Didier Deschamps’ team complicated for Laporte.
And so Manchester City’s previous club-record signing may well find himself drawn back to the red of Spain in order to play at Euro 2020 and then the 2022 World Cup.
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