Now, Manchester United's intentions have reportedly turned to centre-back Laporte as they seek to bolster their defence before the January transfer window closes.
However, it seems that Louis van Gaal will have to cast his net elsewhere this month as the San Mames outfit appear unwilling to sell the French Under-21 international until the summer, claim the Star.
“Any chance Manchester United had to land Athletic Bilbao ace Aymeric Laporte in the current window appears dead in the water. The message from the Spanish club is that they may be ready to do business next summer – as long as United meet Laporte’s £20m buy-out clause,” the Daily Star report.
Laporte has started 17 La Liga matches this season, averaging 2.4 tackles, 3.9 interceptions and 3.5 effective clearances per game, according to football statistics website Whoscored.com.
Manchester United would be wise to monitor his progress as his ability and huge potential are evident - yet Van Gaal arguably needs reinforcements this month in order to establish his side's place in the Premier League's top four.
According to Austrian paper Sportnet, Dynamo Kiev’s Austrian international Aleksandar Dragovic has been sounded out as a possible transfer option this month.
The report in the paper claims that negotiations are taking place with Manchester United, who are looking to beat competition from several sides - such as Liverpool and West Ham United – in the race to acquire his signature.