Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte has revealed that he was on the verge of signing for Marseille as a youngster.
Born in Agen, a city between Bordeaux and Toulouse, the centre-back was hoping to join OM as it was the most famous club in the proximity of Bandol, a coast city where his family used to live.
But, he was eventually forced to sign with Toulouse as regulations banned players under the age of 15 to travel over 50 km in one direction.
“I was hoping to play (for Marseille) because of the proximity of my family living in Bandol, but OM rather recommended us Toulouse, which was closer,” Laporte explained to La Provence.
The youngster has since come a long way as he moved to Athletic Bilbao in 2010 and quickly went on to establish himself as a key member of the squad.
As a result, Laporte is now on the radar of Barcelona, PSG, Real Madrid and Manchester City, among others, but high asking price has proved to be an obstacle to a big club move so far.
The France Under-21 international will get the opportunity to face Marseille when the two teams square off in Europa League first knockout stage later today, where Athletic have been made 7/4 favourites.