Pep Guardiola wants to beat Manchester United to €36m Aymeric Laporte

Athletic Bilbao

Athletic Bilbao's Aymeric Laporte is wanted by Pep Guardiola at Bayern, as well as Manchester United.

Ander Herrera is not the only Athletic Bilbao star coveted by Manchester United.

As well as previous interest in Iker Muniain, defender Aymeric Laporte was reported in January by The Mirror and Spanish newspaper AS to be attracting the attention of the Red Devils.

Laporte is just 19-years-old, a Frenchman playing in Spain, and has been a major part of Bilbao's charge to fourth place in La Liga, with potential Champions League qualification.

He has become one of the most impressive young defenders in Europa, and United are not the only ones interested.

German newspaper BILD broke the news last night that Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola is eyeing Laporte as a big summer signing for the Bundesliga champions.

Bayern have a need to replace 36-year-old Daniel van Buyten in their squad, and the former Barcelona coach is just the man to successfully tempt him to leave Spain.

With former Bilbao man Javi Martinez already playing at Bayern, having made the transition successfully, Laporte may be even more encouraged.

The ball is in Bayern's hands however, with a €36 million release clause in Laporte's contract.

It's the same amount which was stipulated in Ander Herrera's contract last year, which United failed to successfully negotiate.

Pep Guardiola's understanding of the Spanish transfer system, and the fact Bayern successfully paid up the clause for Bilbao's Martinez two summers ago, indicate they will have no such trouble.

The money is a high price to pay for a 19-year-old defender, but PSG also fronted up a similar amount for Marquinhos of Roma last summer, and you would consider Real Madrid's Raphael Varane could fetch a similar fee.

For United the chances of signing him look bleak, but in all probability they would be better off chasing a more experienced centre-half for that sort of money, if they can find one willing to make the switch. 

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