van Gaal Close To Completing €32m Deal For Arsenal Target
Manchester United are set to fend off competition from the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea to seal a €32m deal for a highly-rated French international defender
With the January transfer now open for business, managers are working hard to strengthen their squads ahead of the second half of the season, so we’ll bring you all the latest news and gossip. Today, Manchester United are set to complete a deal for Aymeric Laporte.
Manchester United are set to fend off competition from the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea to seal a €32m deal for Athletic Bilbao star Aymeric Laporte, according to reports.
Laporte has emerged as one of the most highly-rated young defenders in world football since breaking into the Athletic Bilbao first team in 2013 and became a regular in Ernesto Valverde’s starting eleven last season, making 35 La Liga appearances.
The 20-year-old has continued his excellent form for Athletic this season and understandably his fine displays at the back have attracted interest from a whole host of top clubs throughout Europe.
Reports late last year suggested that Arsenal had made Laporte one of their key January transfer targets as boss Arsene Wenger looks to bring in reinforcements at the back after struggling with injuries this campaign, while Chelsea and Bayern Munich have also been touted as potential suitors for the French Under-21 international.
However, it appears Manchester United are set to win the race for his signature with the Daily Star are reporting that the 20-time Premier League champions are closing in on a €32m (£25m) swoop, with the deal understood to be “80 per cent done”.
The newspaper suggests that Laporte is a boyhood United fan and is therefore keen to seal a move to Old Trafford, while Louis van Gaal is believed to see the youngster as a shrewd investment as he’s a player he can build his new-look defence around for years to come.
Van Gaal has endured a frustrating first six months in charge at United with injuries at the back hampering his cause, so it would be no surprise to see the Dutchman bring in another centre-back this month and Laporte would be an excellent addition.
It remains to be seen how the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea will react to the news, with the Gunners in particular expected to bring in another defender before the end of the month, but it seems they’ll have to move fast if they want to prevent Laporte heading to Manchester.
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