Arsenal have a long history of signing, nurturing and developing French players – with varying degrees of success.
One of the most recent to be linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium was Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte.
The 19-year-old has blossomed into one of the most impressive centre-backs in La Liga, and he was tipped to be on Arsene Wenger’s radar. But Bilbao have now moved to make him an impossible – or at least considerably more expensive – target.
Just as Manchester United found in their pursuit of Ander Herrera last summer, the Spanish side do not budge on release-clauses. And now, as reported by Marca and Inside Spanish Football, Laporte has the same €36million clause as his teammate.
Whether that will dissuade potential suitors will be seen in due course, but the teenager has years to improve and is clearly happy in Spain, where he has already made 31 La Liga appearances.
Speaking after the news, Laporte said, “I hope to grow here and continue to improve in all aspects. I feel very good in Bilbao. I’m comfortable here and this club has given me everything in my career.”
It appears this is one promising young player Arsenal, or anyone else for that matter, may have to admire from afar.
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