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Breaking – Arsenal Close To Sign French Defender Ahead Of January

According to reports, Arsenal are strongly interested in signing Athletic Bilbao and French central defender Aymeric Laporte. He happens to be one of the rising defenders in the game and was pivotal in the Basque club finishing fourth last season in la liga. He turned 20 years in May this year, and has made over fifty league appearances for the Bilbao since he was promoted to the first team in 2012.

There were hints of a link during the summer, but nothing concrete came out of it. However, he recently signed a contract extension with Athletic Bilbao that would keep him at the club until 2018, and his buy out clause has been increased to £34 million.

The 6ft 2in centre half has drawn the attention of several of Europe’s biggest clubs because of his matured performances on his rather young shoulders. He has often drawn comparisons with another of France’s rising young defender in Rafael Varane of Real Madrid.

Arsenal’s shortage of defenders have been well documented since last season, the numbers dwindled further following the sales of Thomas Vermaelen and Ignasi Miguel in the summer, it further reduced the numbers in central defence to a miserly two in Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. With the inexperienced Calum Chambers serving as back up in both the central defence and as a right full back.

While Aymeric Laporte is a good young defender that could complement the established partnership that Arsenal currently have, the issue remains the reported buy out clause of £34 million that have been mooted has what is required to prize him away from the Basque club.

Arsene Wenger does not have a history of spending big in signing defenders, and the biggest sum he has spent on signing a centre half was the £10 million spent in signing Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax in 2009. While the closest to that figure if the media reports where anything to go by was Mathieu Debuchy signing from Newcastle United in the summer.

It is yet another defender being linked to Arsenal within the corridors of the press, and if anything the reports linking Arsenal to any defender have been few and far between in the last couple of months. And Arsene Wenger did mention that it is difficult to find a quality defender in the market.

Aymeric Laporte is one in the hat that the club has been linked to, and with Athletic Bilbao struggling for form, a test of their resolve in January would not be out of place.

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