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 Posted by Ian Holyman
Jun 3, 2014

Aymeric Laporte tempted by Barcelona

Aymeric Laporte has been tipped for a bright future.

Aymeric Laporte has told L'Equipe it would be a dream to play for Barcelona, and he is unworried by his lack of fame in his native France.

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Laporte, 20, impressed sufficiently with Athletic Bilbao last season to see himself mentioned as a potential surprise addition to France's World Cup squad.

His displays have also reportedly caught the eye of Barca, who are said to see him as a candidate to replace Carles Puyol at the Camp Nou.

"When you speak about Puyol, you're talking about a football legend," Laporte, who has also been linked to Bayern Munich, said.

"Barcelona, in recent years, have won just about everything. It's a dream. Everyone would love to go there. Bayern is also one of the biggest clubs in the world. But, I must emphasise, I am under contract with Athletic Bilbao until 2018."

A buyout clause of 36 million is indicative of the esteem in which the Basque club hold the youngster, who moved over the Pyrenees from Bayonne in 2010.

His talents are also less appreciated by compatriots in the dug-out with outgoing under-21 boss Willy Sagnol often preferring home-based players to Laporte at the heart of his defence.

"In Spain, people come and ask to have their photo taken with me. Here, I'm almost anonymous. It's strange, but I don't worry about it. I'm not looking for recognition," said Laporte, who did find the lack of acknowledgement of his ability difficult to accept.

"I play football, and I say to myself that if I manage to get to the top, I mean to say the senior national team, then I will see a change in France.

"I was very frustrated. I even think you could see that. When you play at such a level in your team, it's a little frustrating and disappointing to then find yourself on the bench. But you have to keep going and not give in."

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