Athletic Bilbao's Aymeric Laporte would consider Spain call
Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte would consider playing for Spain if he doesn't get called by France before the European Championships next summer.
France has never summoned the 21-year-old for senior duty, but he has featured regularly at youth level, captaining all of the various categories. Aymeric has lived in Bilbao since he was 15 and is eligible to play for Spain, whose senior side has been hit by injuries at his particular position.
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Should Vicente del Bosque request Laporte's services, the promising Bilbao man would contemplate a switch.
"As I have said before, I would prefer to represent France -- as long as the coach has faith in me but that option hasn't been put to me. The European Championships are very important -- tournaments like this don't come along every day; I have to think it over and see what happens," Laporte said on Wednesday.
Laporte signed a new four-year deal with Athletic over the summer amid reported interest from Manchester City and Manchester United.
Set to stay at San Mames until 2019, the deal included a release clause of €50 million, which represented a significant increase of the figure originally touted by the club that Louis van Gaal reportedly declined to meet. In light of the new deal, interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs remains.
"My name always crops up when the market opens and a lot of teams have expressed an interest in signing me; I've renewed my contract four times -- that was what I wanted to do," Laporte said.
"I have shown that I am committed to Athletic and they have shown loyalty to me. Let's hope that we can add another cup to the trophy room -- I'd like a more important trophy than the Supercup so we can take the gabarra [a boat] out, the most amazing thing in Bilbao."