Aymeric Laporte has opened up about his decision to reject a switch to Manchester City in the summer.
Laporte had been tipped to sign for City as Guardiola began assembling his squad – getting rid of the dead wood and bringing in fresh, new faces.
Unfortunately, along with several other factors, the ankle injury Laporte suffered while on International duty with the French under-21s in March proved to be a major stumbling block in the deal.
In the end, after extensive talks with Guardiola, and taking all factors into consideration, the defender decided it would be best to stay put at Athletic Bilbao and signed a new four-year contract with the club.
And by the looks of it, he has made the right decision. He has carried forward his stunning form from last season into the new one, and has been a vital cog at the back for Bilbao.
His brilliant performances have now warranted him a first International call up to the senior France National squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Netherlands.
In an interview with French radio station RTL, the 22-year-old revealed how he had a long conversation with Guardiola, but decided to stay in Spain after weighing up the pros and cons.
“How did I say no to Pep? By looking at the pros and cons,” Laporte said.
“I spoke with him for a long time, as well as with my club. I also looked at my family, my entourage.
“It wasn’t too early. It was just pros and cons: amount of time on the pitch, me recovering from injury. These aren’t easy things to think about at my age. In the end, I had to make a choice. I did, and I’m happy.”