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Chelsea & Man Utd Tipped For January Battle Over £36m French Defender

Chelsea and Man Utd are being tipped to renew their interest in Aymeric Laporte and Athletic Bilbao fear they will be forced to sell the £36m French ace

With the summer transfer window now closed for business, it’s time to start looking at those deals that failed to get over the line and those which are being lined-up for the future. Today, Chelsea and Man Utd are linked with Aymeric Laporte….

Chelsea and Manchester United are being tipped to renew their interest in Aymeric Laporte this January and Athletic Bilbao fear they will be forced to sell the £36m-rated French centre-back, according to the Express.

Laporte has emerged as one of the most highly-rated young defenders in world football since breaking into the Bilbao first team in 2013 and was a vital part of Ernesto Valverde’s starting eleven last season, after making 49 appearances in all competitions.

The 21-year-old’s potential attracted the attention of a whole host of top clubs during the summer but Bilbao were able to hang on to the youngster despite the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United showing a keen interest [via the Express].

However, the Express suggest that Bilbao are bracing themselves for fresh interest in Laporte this January and fear they will be powerless to prevent the defender leaving due to the financial power of the Premier League duo.

The new £1.67bn-a-year deal with Sky Sports and BT Sports kicks in next season and Bilbao believe the huge influx of money into the Premier League will make it difficult for them to hang on to top stars like Laporte.

We’ll have to wait and see if Chelsea or United do intend to make fresh moves for the French Under-21 international this winter but they’ll have to be prepared to dig deep as the newspaper says the player has a £36m buy-out clause and Bilbao are unlikely to do business for anything less.

Chelsea signed Papy Djilobodji and Michael Hector on deadline day but neither are considered as top class central defender’s just yet so the Express suggest Jose Mourinho is still on the look out for a long-term replacement for John Terry, with Laporte said to be one of four players the Blues boss is considering.

United also failed to bring in a world class centre-back this summer but the newspaper report claims that Louis van Gaal could look to address this in January with the club understood to be willing to meet Laporte’s buy-out clause.

READ MORE –> Chelsea transfer news | Man Utd transfer news

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea or United can agree a deal to sign the talented youngster but I think £36m would be a huge sum for a player who’s still extremely raw and still has a lot to learn.

Laporte has the potential to go on and become a world class defender, but I still think it would be a big gamble from either club if they were to pay that sort of money for him this winter.

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