FIFA Approves Manchester City Laporte Spain Switch

File photo of Laporte

 

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte has been approved to play for Spain instead of France at Euro 2020, FIFA told AFP on Friday.

The news comes after the 26-year-old defender who spent eight years at Athletic Bilbao was granted Spanish nationality earlier this week.

Born in Agen in France he was called up three times for Les Blues but never actually made it onto the pitch.

France coach Didier Deschamps has a wealth of options at centre-back, with Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Clement Lenglet and Kurt Zouma among those picked ahead of Laporte in recent months.

Instead, Laporte is now set to play for Spain at Euro 2020, potentially alongside Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.

He could be a valuable addition to the Spanish squad given the central defence has been a problem area for coach Luis Enrique.

Gerard Pique retired in 2018 and the spot next to Ramos has been filled by a number of players, including Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez and Eric Garcia of Manchester City.

Man City’s Mahrez, Laporte Test Positive For COVID-19

Manchester City’s Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English League Cup third round football match between Oxford United and Manchester City at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford, west of London, on September 25, 2018. 
Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Manchester City players Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte have tested positive for coronavirus just five days before the start of the new Premier League season, the club announced on Monday.

City said in a statement that French defender Laporte and Algerian international forward Mahrez were self-isolating in accordance with Premier League and government rules.

“Neither is displaying symptoms of the virus,” the statement said.

“Everyone at the club wishes Riyad and Aymeric a speedy recovery ahead of their return to training and the new season.”

The Premier League season starts on Saturday but Manchester City do not open their campaign until September 21, when they play Wolves.

City and neighbours Manchester United are missing the opening weekend to give them extra time to recover from a late end to the 2019/20 season because both were involved in European competition.

Mahrez tweeted: “Thank you for all the nice messages, I’m good. Stay safe everyone take care of you.”

Laporte thanked fans for their messages of support, saying he would be back soon.

 

AFP

Guardiola Confident Of Laporte’s Fitness For Madrid Clash

This file photo shows Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte on a stretcher following an injury he sustained. AFP

 

Pep Guardiola is confident Aymeric Laporte is ready to play 90 minutes against Real Madrid on Wednesday even though the defender asked to be substituted during Saturday’s 1-0 win at Leicester.

Laporte was replaced by Nicolas Otamendi after 57 minutes of Saturday’s match, his third appearance since his return from a long lay-off with a knee injury.

Guardiola said there was no fresh injury problem for the Frenchman but the pace of Leicester’s attack was a tough test for a player still rediscovering his rhythm.

“He asked me to be subbed,” Guardiola said. “He’s not injured. We cannot forget he has been out for four or five months injured. They run a lot, (Jamie) Vardy, Kelechi (Iheanacho), (Harvey) Barnes, they are all so fast.

“It was quite different against West Ham (on Wednesday), where there was only one striker so it was easier to control, but he’s OK.”

Asked if Laporte was ready to play the full match in the Champions League last-16 first-leg clash at the Bernabeu, Guardiola said: “Yes”.

Laporte has made a gradual return to action from the knee injury suffered against Brighton on August 31.

He played 78 minutes against Sheffield United on January 21 but then did not appear again until Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over West Ham, completing 65 minutes at the Etihad.

City have not conceded a goal while Laporte has been back in action and Guardiola will be keen to have his best defender on the pitch for as long as possible against Madrid.

AFP

Manchester City’s Laporte Undergoes Knee Surgery

Laporte was injured during a Premier League match between Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on August 31, 2019.
Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte has undergone knee surgery that is expected to keep the centre-back sidelined for at least a couple of months.

Laporte had been in line to make his international debut with France this week after his exceptional form for the Premier League champions over the past year was finally rewarded with a first call-up by Didier Deschamps since March 2017.

However, he was stretchered off late in the first-half of City’s 4-0 win over Brighton on Saturday after a clash with the visitors’ Adam Webster.

“Aymeric Laporte has undergone surgery on his knee after damaging his cartilage and lateral meniscus during Saturday’s win over Brighton,” City said in a statement without giving a timeframe for Laporte’s return.

“The surgery, carried out by Dr Ramon Cugat in Barcelona, was successful and a more detailed prognosis will be provided in due course.”

Should Laporte be absent for a prolonged period, he will be badly missed with centre-back one of the few positions where City are not blessed with great strength in depth.

They did not buy a replacement for departed former captain Vincent Kompany in the summer transfer window and midfielder Fernandinho had to fill that position against Brighton with John Stones also sidelined by injury.

However, with City handed a favourable Champions League group stage draw alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb and Atalanta and not facing ‘top six’ opposition in the Premier League again until early November, there is hope Laporte will be back for the business end of the season.

“After successful completion of yesterday evenings surgery, I would like to say thanks for all your messages of support during the last few days. I feel truly loved and so thankful about it,” Laporte posted on Instagram.

“I am sad for not being able to join the national team and to not fulfil my dream of making the debut with Les Bleus.

“I would like to thank the coach for being so supportive. From now on we start counting down the days to go back to the pitch.”

AFP