The summer transfer window will be opening soon and it promises to be an interesting time for Athletic. The Lions need to add some more talent to their squad but, more importantly, they need to make sure not to lose any of their major contributors. Kuko Ziganda has inherited a very talented squad from Ernesto Valverde and the biggest thing for the Basques will be retaining their own quality. However, one player is being targeted by a European giant once again.
According to a new report from Miguel Delaney of The Independent, Pep Guardiola wants to add a new center-back to the Manchester City squad this summer and has his sights set on either Aymeric Laporte or PSG’s Marquinhos.
City’s interest in Laporte is nothing new. Last summer the England giants offered him the chance to double his wages by joining their project, but the 23-year-old rejected their offer and chose to instead sign a contract extension with Athletic Club and raise his release clause. That clause is now set at €65 million and will rise to €70 million at the end of the coming season. Of course, City still have the money required to trigger that clause so it may once again be up to the Lezama product to decide his future.
Since signing a new contract with Athletic, Laporte has not openly pledged his future to Athletic, choosing rather to admit that one never knows what the future holds. However, he has said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t believe he should have to verbally commit to Athletic because the act of rejecting City last summer should be proof enough. Last season Laporte formed one of the strongest center-back pairings in Europe alongside Yeray and new manager Kuko Ziganda (who coached both at Bilbao Athletic) will want to keep that going for the foreseeable future. If Manchester City’s interest is real once again, Laporte will likely have to make another big decision about his future.