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Man United in talks to sign promising centre-back with reported €42m release clause

Old Trafford side look to bring in La Liga youngster.

Man United are reportedly pushing on with efforts to land Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte, according to Fichajes via the Metro.

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The Old Trafford side have had more than a few issues at the back this term and Louis van Gaal appears keen to strengthen his defence this summer.

Fichajes claim that Laporte’s agent Jorge Mendes has entered talks with Man United, as the 20-year-old’s €42m (£30m) release clause looms large.

Man United have struggled to keep things tight at the back and have frequently had to thank keeper David de Gea for keeping the opposition at bay.

Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, and to a lesser extent, Chris Smalling, have all failed to provide a consistent enough run of form and new signing Marcos Rojo is still adapting to life in the English top tier.

Man United’s win over Crystal Palace all but secures a return to Champions League action, and as such, van Gaal should find it easier to land his top targets when the transfer window reopens.

Though still just 20 years of age, Laporte has a good grounding of top level experience. The French Under 21 international has racked up over 100 appearances for his Basque side already.

Man United successfully landed Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao last summer and may well be confident of securing another of their best players this time around.

The Premier League giants have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last seven Premier League fixtures and van Gaal may see Laporte as the man to help rectify the problem. The La Liga starlet possesses a no-nonsense, direct style of defending that appears to appeal to the Dutch boss.

If a deal for Laporte was finalised soon, he’d be the second exceptional youngster brought to Old Trafford before the window even opens, with the Red Devils having already secured a deal for PSV flyer Memphis Depay (via BBC Sport).

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