Reports: £57 million star set to snub Barcelona and join Real Madrid in January
What's the story?
Real Madrid had a relatively quiet transfer window this summer, but the January window is expected to be very different. Los Blancos have had a tough start to their La Liga title defense and reports in Don Balon via The Express claim that the 12-time Champions League winners are set to win the race to sign highly rated Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte.
Still only 23, and already one of the best defenders in the League, the young Frenchman was also heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, but it seems like the All Whites have beaten their bitter rivals and have convinced Laporte to move to the Bernabeu.
January is expected to be a busy transfer window with a number of high profile arrivals expected to strengthen the squad and boost Real Madrid's ambitions of defending their League and Champions League double this season.
In case you didn't know...
A Bilbao youth product, Aymeric Laporte has long been linked with a move to one of Europe's elite clubs. Having already played 4 seasons at the top level, Laporte's composure, positioning, and calmness on the ball have all won rave reviews.
With Pepe moving to Besiktas and Real Madrid competing on various fronts, the addition of Laporte to the defensive backline will definitely add some much-needed quality and squad depth for the defending champions.
The heart of the matter
The French international has been rock solid at the back for Athletic Bilbao and has often been their best player in the last 3 seasons. Barcelona are also reportedly desperate to sign the talented defender, but it seems that Zidane's project at Real Madrid has impressed the ball-playing centre-back.
Another important factor is that Laporte will not be cup-tied for the Champions League and Real Madrid will be able to utilise his services in Europe's premier club competition if they manage to complete the signing in January.
This is why Laporte is rated so highly.
Although Real Madrid have the likes of Ramos, Varane, and Nacho, the addition of Laporte will definitely prove to be an upgrade. Also, with the Atheltic Bilbao's star release clause priced at £57 million, Real Madrid should definitely go ahead and complete the signing as soon as possible.
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