Why people think Athletic have played a blinder by selling Laporte to Man City for €65m
Manchester City have strengthened their defence. Again.
After spending big on full-backs in the summer, Pep Guardiola has added central defender Aymeric Laporte to his squad for a club record £57m. The Frenchman, yet to be capped by his national side, has joined from Athletic Club and signed a five-year deal at The Etihad.
The Bilbao-based side haven't exactly wasted any time in their efforts to fill the void left by Laporte, either. As soon as news started to break that the 23-year-old was City-bound, it also emerged that they had activated a €32m (£28m) release clause in the contract of Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez.
Martinez, who has also been linked with a move to City at times this season, is now expected to head to Bilbao in a deal that will make him the most expensive Spanish defender in history.
Perhaps predictably, some have claimed that Athletic Club have actually done better from the deal - suggesting they have invested their money wisely and on a better player than the one they have replaced.
Inigo Martinez is literally the perfect Aymeric Laporte replacement. Left footed, Basque and, as of now, probably a better defender
— John O'Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) January 30, 2018
Surprised City have gone for Laporte. Inigo Martinez looked to me a better option
— Uyi (@Oroku_Saki__) January 27, 2018
I believe Iñigo Martínez is better player than Laporte, so it's a very good deal for Athletic. But, as Ibra said, Pep is a philosopher.. 😂😂
— Raúl García (@raulgarciacant) January 30, 2018
Am i the only 1 who thinks Inigo Martinez is better than Laporte?
— Deniz Andres (@Koezo123) January 30, 2018
Martinez, a Spanish international, has also interested Barcelona in recent months. They were reportedly put off by his price in the summer and have opted to strengthen their defence with Yerry Mina this month.