L’Équipe have included an article in their daily paper this morning outlining why French youth international Aymeric Laporte ended up signing a contract extension with Athletic Bilbao rather than joining Manchester City earlier on in the window.
Manchester City had agreed to pay the player’s €50m release clause, so what went wrong?
Barcelona approached the player first, but the Catalan club decided that at €50m he was too expensive and signed Umtiti instead.
Then came Bayern Munich, concretely positioning themselves in the race, but never acting on their interest.
Laporte was one of Pep Guardiola’s priorities from the moment he accepted the Manchester City job, wanting to align Laporte with John Stones at the heart of a new look Citizens defence.
Everything seemed in order, Manchester City informed Athletic Bilbao of their intention to pay the player’s €50m release clause, offering Laporte a contract worth between €7.5m to €8m a year net. Quite the improvement on the €2.5m a year that Laporte was reaching at the time.
With his new Bilbao extension, Laporte moved to €4.5m/€5m a year net, which is still nothing in comparison to what City were offering him.
Laporte decided that this was good enough, opting for stability and being at the heart of the Bilbao project in order to best secure his continued progression.