New teammate of Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr, Aymeric Laporte had other avenues before being convinced by an XXL contract from Saudi Arabia. His former club, Athletic Bilbao, has long tried to convince the Franco-Spaniard to return to the Basque Country at the age of 29. “I had opportunities outside of Al-Nassr,” he told the media El Desmarque. “I have been in contact with Athletic since my departure (in January 2018, against 65 million euros, editor's note), we have spoken over the years, we met, I came, I left... there was no problem and I know they were always there.” “You know I always want to return the affection, I will always be grateful but I think the timing was not right and I want to take another route,” he added.
Linked until 2026 with Al-Nassr, the reigning European champion with Manchester City, has already revealed where he would like to end his career. Born in France and trained in Bayonne, Laporte could have worn the Blues jersey, but a late call from Didier Deschamps and the temptation of the La Roja jersey made Laporte choose the Spanish selection. The latter would also like to finish in France, the country of his childhood, where he has never played. The defender's heart is taken by the Girondins de Bordeaux (Ligue 2), a club located less than two hours from Agen, his hometown. “I will retire at Athletic or Girondins de Bordeaux,” he concluded. Bordeaux theoretically has a one in two chance of welcoming a renowned defender within a few years, a move up to the elite would surely help the player when deciding between the Girondins and Athletic Bilbao.