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Laporte spoke with City before staying at Atletico

Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte held extensive discussions with Pep Guardiola before opting against a close-season move to Manchester City.

The 22-year-old was linked with a switch to the Etihad Stadium despite breaking his ankle on international duty with France Under-21s in March.

He is back to full fitness and has started all nine of Athletic’s competitive games this season, winning a senior France call-up for the first time.

Laporte cites this seeming guarantee of a first-team place as a reason for staying at San Mames.

“How did I say no to Pep? By looking at the pros and cons,” he told RTL.

“I spoke with him for a long time, as well as with my club. I also looked at my family, my friends.

“It wasn’t too early [in my career]. It was just pros and cons – amount of time on the pitch, me recovering from injury.

“These aren’t easy things to think about at my age. In the end, I had to make a choice. I did, and I’m happy.”

Tue 4 Oct, 2016
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