Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte is reported to have snubbed various advances from Barcelona in favour of eventually joining La Liga champions Real Madrid – despite previously having worked with current Blaugrana boss Ernesto Valverde.
Madrid and Barça have both endured opposing starts to their current league campaigns. With the high-flying Catalonians holding a perfect record of three wins in three matches.
However, Spanish outlet Don Balon report that 23-year-old Laporte would rather move to the Bernabeu than Camp Nou.
It’s been widely-reported that Barca’s Lionel Messi has been nagging the club’s board to sign the promising centre-back, but advances from Barcelona have been to no avail over the last few months.
Laporte’s current deal with Bilbao runs out in 2020, and the Frenchman has a reported release clause of £57m – which, in this day and age, could figure to become somewhat of a steal for a very talented young centre-half.
He is said to be keen to link up with French compatriot Zinedine Zidane rather than former Bilbao boss Valverde and is waiting in hope that a a move to the Spanish capital materialises.
Laporte has made a total of 199 appearances for Bilbao, where he came through the club’s heralded youth system. However, he could soon find himself competing for a starting place with the likes of Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Nacho Fernandez, if he gets his wish.