‘Laporte is still our player…’

Ernesto Valverde hopes Aymeric Laporte stays at Athletic Bilbao as he looks toward the end of the season.

Laporte has been strongly linked with Manchester City – though has publically denied any agreement with the Premier League club – and Valverde recalled the last time the defender was said to be about to leave San Mames.

“In the same way, I didn’t think about it two years ago, when there was talk about him going to Barcelona, Real Madrid and I don’t know how many teams, the information was framed in the same way,” he noted, AS reports.

“For all the time talking about it, in the end he’s always still here. We still have him, he’s injured and we hope he’ll be with us.”

Athletic’s penultimate game of the season sees a visit to Las Palmas, a team Valverde commended for their form post-New Year.

“They’ve done very well in the second round, one of the best in La Liga in terms of results. They love to have the ball and if they’re near the penalty area, they’re dangerous. It’s essential we don’t lose the advantage we have, so it doesn’t go to the last day. We have the advantage of relying on ourselves,” he continued, with reference to the battle for fifth place with Celta Vigo.

Tags Aymeric Laporte Ernesto Valverde Manchester City