Man City’s Aymeric Laporte eligible to quit France play for Spain

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte has been a granted Spanish passport and will be eligible to be called up by Luis Enrique for this summer’s European Championships, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

Spain coach Luis Enrique asked the Royal Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] to look into the possibility of calling Laporte up for this year’s finals several weeks ago.

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After getting the green light from the player, the RFEF set the wheels in motion obtain a passport for Laporte, with confirmation he had been granted one arriving on Tuesday.

Laporte, 26, now must finalise his switch from France to Spain with FIFA, although sources say he fulfils all the requirements following rule changes which recently allowed Munir El Haddadi to switch from Spain to Morocco.

Laporte was born in France but moved to Spain officially when he was 16, where he spent eight years playing for Athletic Bilbao before joining City for €65 million in 2018.

He has previously been called up to represent the French national team but has never been capped, although he has played 19 times for Les Bleus‘ U21 side.

The centre-back first took steps to apply for a Spanish passport in 2016 when Julen Lopetegui was the Spain coach. However, he committed to France later that year after being called up by Didier Deschamps and never followed through on the application.

However, Deschamps has never handed him his full debut. He’s either been unused or had to pull out through injury in every subsequent call-up.

Raphael Varane, Clement Lenglet, Kurt Zouma, Samuel Umtiti and Presnel Kimpembe are among the defenders to have been continually picked ahead of him.

Centre-back is seen as a problem area for Spain. Sergio Ramos has struggled with injuries this season and Gerard Pique retired from international football after the World Cup in 2018.

Diego Llorente, Inigo Martinez, Eric Garcia and Pau Torres are some of the defenders tried out by coach Luis Enrique in recent months.

Spain kick off their Euro 2021 campaign on June 14 against Sweden, with Poland and Slovakia completing their group.

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