The central defender had been strongly linked to Barcelona and Manchester City in the coming transfer window, but a €65 million buyout fee reveals Athletic’s intention to keep him

Aymeric Laporte has signed a new four-year contract with Athletic Bilbao that significantly increases his release clause.

The 22-year-old centre-back is now under contract with Athletic until June 2020, with his fresh deal including a buy-out fee of €65 million for the first two years of the deal, rising to €70m in 2018.

Laporte’s previous deal had only been signed in June 2015 and was due to expire in 2019, with a release clause of €50m.

The new agreement should bring an end to reports linking the centre-back with Barcelona and Manchester City.

Laporte has been with Athletic’s first-team since making his debut in November 2012, but has not featured since March after breaking his leg while playing for France Under-21s.

Laporte is yet to make a senior appearance for France and is also eligible to play for Spain.

Athletic finished the 2015-16 La Liga season in fifth position.

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