Athletic Bilbao president Jose Urrutia has insisted that Manchester United will have to meet Aymeric Laporte’s £30m release clause if they want to sign the Frenchman in the summer.
Laporte is considered to be one of the brightest young talents in European football and has attracted interest from the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Man United.
Reports earlier this week suggested City had an opening bid of £18m for the player rejected which comes as no surprise because Atletico are a notoriously stubborn club in that they simply will not sell their players for below their release clauses.
Urrutia is adamant that any club that wants to sign Laporte must pay the full release clause in order to do so.
Speaking about Laporte, Urrutia said: ”We are pleased that Aymeric is still here and we hope that he will stay at the club for many more years.
“He is a great player. So far, we don’t have any specific offers for him.
“Laporte will only leave if he takes the decision and if someone pays his release clause.”
United have a frustrating history with Bilbao when it comes to release clauses with the club failing to buy Ander Herrera a year before they eventually signed him for £34m last summer.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich and Juventus struggled to sign Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente from the Spanish side, respectively. Laporte’s situation is unlikely to be any different and whoever brings him in will have to jump through several hoops before he is allowed to sign on the dotted line.