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France is where my heart is – Laporte

Aymeric Laporte has underlined his desire to represent France at senior level but cannot rule out turning his allegiance to Spain.

The Athletic Bilbao centre-back, a regular for the France Under-21 side, has yet to earn a cap for Didier Deschamps’ senior team despite his impressive rise to prominence in La Liga.

Deschamps opted to call-up Loic Perrin to replace the injured Mamadou Sakho in his latest squad and stated he would not hand Laporte a spot simply to avoid the risk of him playing for Spain.

Laporte himself later encouraged speculation he was willing to accept a call-up from Spain coach Vicente del Bosque when he posted a tweet reading “Anyway…” following the news of Perrin’s place.

But Laporte insists he was not criticising Deschamps and says he remains determined to play for France in future, although the opportunity to appear at the World Cup or European Championships could sway his decision.

“I have a small injury. This is due to the accumulation of matches. We’ve played every three days and the club preferred not to take any risks,” he said to RMC, explaining his absence from the current squad.

“There’s been lots of talk on social networks. It wasn’t at anyone, not the national team, Deschamps, or Perrin. I don’t have to justify myself in public.

“For now, no [Spain cannot tempt me]. As I said a few months ago, in the last U-21 game, I announced it. 

“I want to progress, to make the next step. I have to keep working, but if the opportunity presents itself, I’ll have to make a choice.

“The French team is where my heart is, it’s where I was born. But if they don’t give me a choice, I’d make a decision as a World Cup or Euro is important to a footballer.”

Tue 10 Nov, 2015
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