Bilbao defender Laporte hints at swapping France for Spain

Madrid, Nov 11 (IANS) Athletic Club Bilbao’s French-born central defender Aymeric Laporte has refused to rule out the possibility of representing Spain if France coach Didier Deschamps continues to ignore him.

The France Under-21 international has spent all of his career playing in Spain as he moved through the Bilbao youth system and has been a first team regular for the past three seasons, improving year by year, reports Xinhua.

However, although Real Madrid’s young defender Rafael Varene is a fixture in the full France squad, Laporte has been continually been overlooked, despite showing merits for a call up.

Laporte’s latest disappointment came on Monday with Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho ruled out of action with a knee injury only for Deschamps to call on veteran Loric Perrin, rather than the 21-year-old.

France is in my heart, because I was born there,” commented Laporte. “However, if they don’t give me the chance, I will have to take a big decision because I want to play in a World Cup or in European Championship. That is the biggest thing a footballer can do.”

The fact the 2016 European Championship is being held in France is an extra attraction for Laporte, who could qualify for Spain given that he has not debuted for the full French side in a competitive match and has played long enough in Spain for him to qualify for their national side should Spain coach Vicente del Bosque wish to call him up.

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