In November, the Frenchman, who has a £30 million release clause, was linked by the Guardian with a move to United and since the January window opened rumours have intensified with reports from the Independent via the Daily Star suggesting the deal is ‘’80 per cent’’ complete.
Talking about the Athletic Bilbao star in his opinion and blog column on Sky Sports, Balague answered a United supporter’s question over whether or not he believed that Laporte was the answer for Louis van Gaal and whether he would be the right fit for the Premier League.
However, instead of the endorsing the French Under-21 international, Balague admitted the concerns he has over the potential move.
‘’In terms of Laporte, I feel that he’s still growing and he’s not as big as centre-backs have to be in the Premier League,’’ Balague admitted.
‘’He has a lot of quality to play the ball from the back and he’s fast to anticipate danger but I’ve just got a question mark over his physical presence.’’
The 20-year-old has been ever-present in the Athletic Bilbao team this season and has made 27 appearances in all competitions, including five of Bilbao’s six Champions League matches.
Although he may not be ready yet for the Premier League’s physicality, at 20 years of age, he still has scope to improve that aspect of his game if he can gain experience in that environment. Therefore, if United should pursuit a deal to land the Frenchman, it should be with a long-term plan in mind.