Aymeric Laporte made headlines last summer when he turned down a lucrative move to Manchester City in order to sign an extension with his boyhood club. Now, one year later, there may be a new suitor for the Athletic Club center-back. Laporte made a big statement when he rejected Pep Guardiola, but he has still left the door open for a future move if one were to peak his interests.
According to a report from ESPN, English giants Chelsea have taken an eye to Laporte and have made him of their summer transfer targets.
Manager Antonio Conte is leading Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League and that also means that his side will be back in the Champions League next season. Due to that fact, the club has to add more depth into the squad. With John Terry leaving and Gary Cahill on the wrong side of 30, Laporte has become a top target for the London-based team. Still, there is one major thing standing in their way.
Aymeric Laporte’s renewal with Athletic last summer raised his release clause to €65 million and will jump even higher to €70 million in 2018. This is a number that Chelsea is simply unwilling to match. The English club hopes that the lure of playing in London and the Champions League will draw Laporte’s attention, but Athletic has no plans on selling for less than the release clause. Unless Chelsea can convince Laporte to leave and pay the full clause, the 22-year-old will be staying in Bilbao.