Transfer news: Manchester City pays Athletic Bilbao £57m release clause for Laporte


Athletic Bilbao have confirmed that defender, Aymeric Laporte’s £57m release clause has been deposited by Manchester City, who are set to announce his move imminently.

Pep Guardiola made the centre-back a priority in January having lost faith in City’s defenders, Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala.

Laporte will provide cover and competition for John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

The Premier league leaders have no trouble agreeing terms with Laporte, who is believed to have undergone a medical in Manchester on Monday.

The Citizens are thought to be preparing to unveil Laporte who becomes their club-record signing, narrowly ahead of the £55m paid for Kevin De Bruyne on Tuesday morning.

Laporte paid a touching tribute to Athletic on the club’s official website: “So much to say with so few lines.

“I want to thank everybody for what you have given me. I arrived as an adolescent and I have been formed here as a person and as a footballer.

“I don’t want my exit, ahead of a new challenge in my career, to be a “goodbye”, but rather a see you soon.

“I am leaving a unique club, I will never forget it. For all of that, thank you!”

Laporte’s move to City marks him out as the second most expensive defender ever, behind only Liverpool’s deal for Virgil van Dijk.

The Frenchman becomes the second most expensive defender in history of the game.

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