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Spaniards ‘Expect’ Bid From Man Utd For €41m-Rated Star, Player Keen On Move

Athletic Bilbao expect Manchester United to table a formal offer for €41m-rated centre-back Aymeric Laporte this month and the player is keen on making a move

With the January transfer window in full swing, managers are strengthening their squads ahead of the second half of the season, so we’ll bring you all the latest news and gossip. Today, Man Utd are linked with Real Madrid target Aymeric Laporte….

Athletic Bilbao expect Manchester United to table a formal offer for €41m-rated centre-back Aymeric Laporte this month and the player is keen on making a move to Old Trafford, 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 Bilbao this season and his fine displays at the back have attracted interest from a whole host of top clubs with Man Utd and Real Madrid reportedly keeping a close eye on his progress.

It appears United are now ready to formalise their interest as well known Spanish journalist and Sky Sports pundit, Guillem Balague, has claimed that Bilbao are expecting an offer from the 20-time Premier League champions before the transfer window closes on February 2.

However, while Balague suggests that Laporte would be keen on the move if the two clubs can agree a deal, he warns that the La Liga outfit will refuse to sell for anything less than his €41m (£31m) buy-out fee.

Balague said on Twitter:

On Laporte. Buyout clause £31m. Athletic Bilbao, who expect an offer from MUFC, wont sell for less. Laporte happy 2 go if Utd pays full fee

It remains to be seen what United’s offer will be but £31m is certainly a lot of money for a player whose still extremely raw and is yet to earn a senior cap for the French national team.

Even if United do agree to pay the youngster’s £31m buy-out fee, they could still face stiff competition from Real Madrid with the Daily Mail claiming that the European champions have identified the Frenchman as a long-term replacement for Pepe.

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van Gaal is likely to bring in another central defender this month after seeing his options at the back decimated by injury during the first half of the season and Laporte is the latest in a long list of names who’ve been linked in recent weeks. Therefore, even if they do miss out to Madrid or refuse to match his buy-out clause then I’m sure United have plenty of alternatives they could turn to.

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