Arsenal told to cough up for La Liga ace

Arsenal have been told they will have to spend big money to land Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, after the defender signed a new contract at the club which included a whopping £30million release clause, reports talkSPORT.

The French centre-back has been one of La Liga’s stand out defenders this season, and has attracted plenty of interest from clubs at home and abroad – including the mighty Barcelona.

But reports in Spain have revealed any club looking to sign him will have to spend big, after Athletic tied the 19-year-old to a new deal that included the release clause, in the hope of keeping him at the club for at least another season.

Both Arsenal and Barcelona are in need of defensive cover, with the Gunners concerned by the injury sustained to Laurent Koscielny.

The future of club captain Thomas Vermaelen also remains unclear.

The Belgian has been linked with a move away from the Emirates ahead of the World Cup, after starting just two Premier League games all season.

Barcelona meanwhile, are in the market for a long term replacement for Spanish legend Carlos Puyol.

Laporte fits the bill due to his age and potential, alongside the fact he has already picked up experience in La Liga.

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