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Aymeric Laporte completes £57m move to Manchester City from Athletic Bilbao

Aymeric Laporte poses during a photoshoot after signing for Manchester City
Image: Aymeric Laporte has joined Manchester City on a five-and-a-half-year deal

Manchester City have completed the signing of French defender Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao on a deal until 2023.

The club have paid his £57million release clause, Sky Sports News understands, making him their record transfer.

The France U21 international issued a farewell message to all those involved with the Basque club in a post on their Twitter account on Monday, in which he thanked team-mates and fans for his six-year spell at the club.

France's defenders Aymeric Laporte and Layvin Kurzawa (R) run during a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines near Paris on October 3, 2016 ahead o
Image: Aymeric Laporte will become Manchester City's club-record signing

"I am very happy to be here. City are a club with a lot of ambition and they are one of the best teams in Europe," Laporte told City's official website.

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"I am looking forward to working under Pep Guardiola and trying to help the club to achieve success.

"It means a lot that the club have shown faith in me and I am excited to get started."

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Jon Driscoll and La Liga expert Terry Gibson take a look at Aymeric Laporte

City boss Pep Guardiola said he was delighted to add Laporte to his squad.

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"He's a young player so 23, left foot, central defender, played since a young age in La Liga so on the biggest stages," he said.

"He's strong in the air, he's fast, good quality with the pass. So [I'm] delighted and happy and grateful for what the club has done."

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Sky Sports News reported last week that discussions had begun between the clubs over a deal for the 23-year-old.

The defender, who has made 19 appearances for Athletic this season, was left out of their squad to face Eibar on Friday.

Laporte previously turned down a move to the Etihad in October 2016 but the Premier League leaders have always remained interested.

City have confirmed he was registered in time to face West Brom on Wednesday night.

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