Aymeric Laporte has signed a new four-year contract with Athletic Bilbao that significantly increases his release clause. The French defender, who was linked with a move away from Athletic to Barcelona or Manchester City, now carries a heavy €65 million buyout clause in his agreement with the club.
The 22-year-old centre-back’s buyout clause can increase to €70 million in 2018 so the next two years of his progress can be monitored closely. The likelihood of a club enabling the buyout clause at such a high price is low. Laporte’s previous deal had only been signed in June 2015 and was due to expire in 2019, with a release clause of €50m.
Laporte has been a regular feature in Athletic’s first-team since making his debut in 2012, but has not been afforded any playing time since breaking his leg playing for France Under-21s.
Laporte is yet to make an appearance for France’s senior team and is also eligible to play for Spain. Athletic finished the 2015-16 La Liga season in 5th position.
The new agreement should bring a halt to reports linking the defender with Barcelona and Manchester City.