Chelsea have been given a boost in their pursuit of Athletico Bilbao’s central back, Aymeric Laporte. The La Liga club has declared that the French player will be available for £35 million, which is his buyout clause by the next transfer window. The under-21 France international is also been monitored by Barcelona who has been in search of a heir to Carles Puyol since the Spanish defender hung the boots over 2 seasons ago. But the negotiations between both Spanish clubs have been stalling, giving Chelsea an advantage to secure the services of the young defender.
The Blues lined up an offer for England international and Everton’s defender, John Stones during the Summer, but the negotiations fell through as the Toffes rejected a £37 million Pound bid for their central defender. Chelsea are looking for a long-term replacement for captain John Terry, as the 35 year-old is set to retire at the end of the season and the club has turned to Aymeric Laporte who brings equal quality to the squad following their failure to get Stones. Terry has already become a less part of the starting 11, as his quality is beginning to dip in form.
However, with their preferred backline, Chelsea have had defensive problems this term, conceding 17 goals in the first 9 matches, as opposed to the 32 they conceded in the whole of the EPL campaign last season. They currently lie 14 on the log, and will do with a quality defender to help solve their defensive woes. Laporte will no doubt bring the needed strength to the defense department.