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Man City target Aymeric Laporte to keep playing for Athletic Bilbao

Don Hutchison and Alison Bender discuss how defender Aymeric Laporte would fit in if he signs for Manchester City.

Manchester City target Aymeric Laporte will continue to be selected by Athletic Bilbao despite speculation over the player's future.

Laporte, who ESPN FC sources say is set to join the Premier League leaders in a €65 million switch before the transfer window closes on Wednesday, is included in the squad for Athletic's home game against Eibar on Friday evening.

"We have spoken and Aymeric is calm," Athletic coach Jose Angel Ziganda told a news conference. "We are counting on him. He said he could train and hence, he is available [to play]. He hasn't told me that he is leaving. We have to wait."

Tied to the Basque outfit until June 2020, the France international came close to joining City in the summer of 2016 before deciding to sign a new contract.

Aymeric Laporte was born in France and joined Athletic in 2009.

A youth product of Athletic, Laporte has made 161 La Liga appearances for the Bilbao-based club since making his league debut in November 2012, including 19 league starts this season.

"We know that during the transfer window there can be transfers," Ziganda said. "In our case it's more likely that they [players] leave rather than they come. We cannot lie to ourselves about how football works and we must accept the circumstances."

Bilbao-based El Correo newspaper claims that City will spend a total of €150m on Laporte, including all transfer costs and wages -- he will reportedly earn €7m a season after tax and sign a six-year deal.

Laporte was the highest paid player at Athletic with a current salary of €4.5m net until goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalga signed a new contract this week.

Athletic will reportedly try to sign Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez as a replacement for Laporte.


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