Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte may have just done Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers a big favour.
The Bilbao star has admitted that replacing Carles Puyol in the Barcelona defence would be a dream, which increases the chance that Rodgers won’t be forced to sell experienced first team star Daniel Agger this summer.
“It’s amazing that Barcelona has been looking at me – Barcelona has won everything in recent years. It would be a dream,” Laporte is quoted by Sport.
Barcelona have been sniffing around Liverpool’s central defender for some time, with the Reds having already knocked back one approach for the Dane.
He’s been critical of the way Rodgers used him in Liverpool’s squad last season, which has prompted speculation that he could push for a move away and Barca have been mentioned as a destination.
However, Agger has enough experience to know that Rodgers’ decision to favour Martin Skrtel, with other players rotating beside him, in the heart of Liverpool’s defence is nothing personal.
It wasn’t too long ago that Skrtel himself was accusing Rodgers of being a liar, which prompted all sorts of rumours that the Slovakian’s career at Anfield was over and that he’d be moved on.
In light of Agger’s comments, should Barca have made a move for him quickly before the World Cup, he may have snapped up the opportunity to play first team football regularly at the Nou Camp.
Should he leave, Rodgers will be faced with the difficult task of finding a replacement who mirrors Agger’s main abilities such as his experience and his ability to play the ball out from the back.
He would be faced with the potential of having to play a younger and inexperienced player in the heart of his back four in a Premier League season where teams will be wiser to the Reds and a Champions League campaign where the standard is a little bit higher.
However, Barca seem to have recognised via Luis Enrique that deals within their own league could be more popular under their new coach and if they’re going to invest time in trying to pull off a complicated deal, they may be better off going for the Bilbao youngster.