Manchester United to scout impressive young centre-back with £36.5m release clause

Manchester United are interested in Athletic Bilbao centre-back Aymeric Laporte, according to the Daily Mail.

The highly-rated 21-year-old French defender is already into his fourth season in the Liga BBVA side’s first-team set-up, and is considered one of the best young talents in world football.

The Daily Mail states the Man United chief executive Ed Woodward was present as Athletic Bilbao took on Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup and that the Old Trafford side are keen on Laporte, who has a £36.5m release clause written into his contract.

Louis van Gaal had been linked with an interest in Real Madrid defender Serio Ramos, Man United failing with a big-money bid for the Bernabeu star earlier this summer (via Sky Sports), but the Dutch manager has since seen his side keep back-to-back clean sheets in their opening two Premier League fixtures.

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Van Gaal has opted to field Chris Smalling and Daley Blind as his current centre-back pairing, with the former proving very capable and the latter clearly trying his best to fill an unfamiliar role, although doing so with some conviction-particularly in the victory over Aston Villa.

Laporte made 50 starts in all competitions for his San Mames side last term and is a crucial member of Ernesto Valverde’s side. He has been tied down to a contract that runs until 2019 (via The Guardian).

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