Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte has denied there is an agreement in place with Manchester City for next season.
Reports in Spain have suggested that the 21-year-old was heading for The Etihad to join up with Pep Guardiola for £39million (50million euros), but the France Under-21 star has rebuffed those claims and said he is loyal to Athletic Bilbao, although he dropped short of confirming he would stay with the Basque club next season.
“My message to the Athletic faithful after the incorrect reports that have surfaced in the media is clear,” Laporte wrote on his Twitter account.
“The only thing on my mind is to help the club and my team-mates reach our goals this season and to recover from my injury.
“I will forever be grateful to Athletic for everything the club has done for me and they will always be the first to know anything regarding my future.
“My loyalty and respect for Athletic is profound.”
— aYmeric Laporte 4⃣ (@Laporte) May 2, 2016
Laporte is currently recovering from a fractured leg and ankle he suffered while playing for France Under-21s against Scotland on March 24.
The highly-rated centre-back, who is believed to have a £39million buyout clause in his Bilbao contract which runs until June 2019, has been linked with City and Manchester United, but reports from Basque newspaper EITB claimed that City have told Athletic officials that they are willing to meet his release clause. “It is a specific request of Pep Guardiola,” read the report.
The club’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain was pictured in Bilbao last month intensifying reports that Laporte would be heading for the Premier League after recovering from his leg break and ankle dislocation.