Recent rumors claim that Athletic Club Bilbao starlet Aymeric Laporte has already agreed to join Barcelona this summer, though the rumors may not be what they seem.
French starlet Aymeric Laporte has taken Europe by storm, playing a fantastic season under Ernesto Valverde at Athletic Club Bilbao and is already one of the most sought-after center-backs in Europe despite being on 19 years old.
In recent weeks, Laporte has been linked with moves to both Bayern Munich and Barcelona and new rumors suggest that he could already have agreed to leave the Basque giants this summer with Barcelona seeing his as the perfect solution to their defensive frailties.
According to television station Tele Bilbao, Laporte has already agreed to a pre-deal with Barcelona that will see him join the Catalan club when the summer transfer window officially opens.
Though this news has only recently been reported, it may not be as accurate as it seems.
The man who broke the news on Laporte’s supposed agreement with Barcelona was none other than Txefe Guerrero, brother of Athletic legend Julen Guerrero, and former player for both Athletic and Real Sociedad.
Guerrero informed Tele Bilbao that he had received his information from former Barcelona executive, Txiki Begiristain, who is now working with Manchester City, saying “Begiristain told me City can’t sign Laporte because he already has a deal with Barça.”
Those in the circles of the Basque Country have grown to take the words and claims of Txefe Guerrero with caution over the years as the former Real Sociedad man has earned a reputation of falsely reporting news dealing with Athletic Club, while Tele Bilbao is also notorious for erroneous reports.
As of now, there is no official word from either club or player on Laporte’s supposed pre-agreement with Barcelona, but it is clear that the Catalans are on the hunt for a new center-back and believe that the 19-year-old would be the perfect fit.
Laporte has expressed his happiness at Athletic in recent months, including signing a new contract last December, but has yet to openly close the door on a potential exit.
Regardless of reports, Athletic have already pointed to the player’s buy-out clause for any clubs interested in his signature, meaning that Barcelona would have to meet Laporte’s €36 million price tag if they are to sign the Frenchman this summer.