Arsenal and Barcelona target Aymeric Laporte has signed a new Athletic Bilbao contract with a massive £30m release clause. The French centre-back has been in excellent form in Bilbao and has been watched by a number of Europe’s top clubs. And El Correo reports that the new deal has a huge release clause designed to ensure them keep the 19-year-old at San Mames for another season at least.
Interesting news. Could Arsenal be looking for an immediate defensive reinforcement? The Gunners currently have three centre-backs with Vermaelen so far proving back-up to Koscielny. A move for another centre-back could just throw Vermaelen into the fourth choice, that certainly won’t excite the Belgian and Wenger is certainly not going to buy a player for £30m have him on the bench or as a fourth choice.
Aymeric might good as he is been touted ( I have seen him play and can’t tell ) but I doubt if Wenger will be willing to pay £30m for a player that won’t be his first choice centre-back as I don’t see how he will leap frop Koscielny or Mertesacker to stake a claim to the starting berth. If he was so good, he would be in the French team.
He might be one for the future but certainly not an immediate priority. As long as Vermaelen stays, Arsenal don’t need another centre-back at least to ensure healthy rivalry amongst them and maintain the harmony in the squad. And if we need another centre back, it has to be a youngster who won’t mind seating on the bench for some time and get play time here and there.