Arsenal are one of the teams that have “sounded” out Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte about a potential transfer this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Catalan publication claims that Athletic Bilbao are keen on bringing the player back to the Basque country, but they also say that the Gunners and Juventus are interested in signing the 22 cap Spanish international.
Laporte is believed to be unsettled at City, having made only 11 league starts for the treble winners last season. Last month, he hinted that he wasn’t particularly happy about the amount of game time he was getting. When asked about how the campaign had gone for him, he said:
“Personally, much less [enjoyment] than other seasons. It’s true that I’ve played a bit less but the most important thing is the team, the points, the matches and the trophies.”
When pressed further on his future, he simply said that he “can’t talk about these things,” suggesting a transfer was under consideration.
Arsenal might be in the market for a left-sided centre-back
Last week, reports in the Spanish press linked the Gunners with a bid for Sporting Lisbon’s Goncalo Inacio, who some see as a younger version of Laporte.
Both are left-footed and strong in possession, and it does suggest that manager Mikel Arteta is considering making a move for a player of that profile.
If Jurrien Timber is signed, he could well be asked to play the inverted fullback role on the right-hand side, and that would mean that Arsenal could need a left-back or a left centre-back who could tuck into a back three when the Gunners are in possession.
Laporte performed that role for City last season so it does make sense that Arteta would be weighing up an offer for him, especially as he has worked with the player before during his time as assistant at the Etihad.