Young defender wanted by Wenger.
Arsenal are said to be upping the stakes in their chase for young Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte ahead of a summer move, according to Football Direct News.
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The 19-year-old has been in impressive form this season and has caught the eye of a number of sides, including Manchester United and Barcelona as the transfer window approaches.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is believed to be a big fan of his and is eager to push through a deal as he is equally comfortable at centre-back or on the left flank and his versatility is said to be a big plus for the Frenchman.
Wenger is also wary that he may lose Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen this summer and wants the French youngster as back up to established pair Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.
A source close to the north London outfit confirmed Wenger’s desire to bring him to the club by saying: “From what I know, Wenger’s been very impressed with Laporte.
“For a young French player a move to Arsenal is always an attractive option, so we’re hopeful we can beat other clubs to him.”
Laporte has made 26 appearances across all competitions for Bilbao so far this season, bagging two goals in the process.
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