Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte has revealed that he turned down both Chelsea and Manchester City during the summer, in favour of remaining with the Basque outfit.
Laporte, a 23-year-old central defender, has long been regarded as one of the finest stoppers in La Liga, and is valued at over 30 million Euro by his club.
He has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona in the past, with the Blaugrana reportedly considering Laporte, along with Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez, as possible long-term replacements for Gerard Pique at the Camp Nou.
However , to this point, he has, rather surprisingly, stayed put, despite being chased by some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
‘The chance to leave’
And, speaking in an interview with L’Equipe today, Laporte explained exactly why he chose to turn down offers from the aforementioned pair of Premier League giants during the summer transfer window:
‘I had the chance to leave but I did not feel it.’
‘Also because I was injured and did not want to leave so.’
‘Chelsea’s interest? I can not say anything, it’s a personal thing.’
Having been rejected by Laporte, Chelsea in the end chose to move for AS Roma star Antonio Rudiger, who has thus far impressed with the Blues.
City, meanwhile, opted against bringing in a central defender after being knocked back by both Laporte and Leonardo Bonucci (who moved to AC Milan), but the sky Blues have been linked with a second offer for the former upon the opening of the winter transfer market in January.