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In-form Man City defender claims continuing absence from France squad is 'personal'

Aymeric Laporte is yet to receive a senior French cap.

Aymeric Laporte (file pic).
Aymeric Laporte (file pic).

MAN CITY DEFENDER Aymeric Laporte has admitted he is frustrated by his continual omission from the French squad.

The 24-year-old has been capped by the national team throughout the various youth levels but has yet to receive a call-up to the senior side.

Alongside John Stones, Laporte has emerged as Pep Guardiola’s first choice centre-back at Manchester City, ahead of the experienced duo Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany.

Yet, the defender has still not been selected to represent France by manager Didier Deschamps, leading to Laporte’s suggestions that he has been overlooked for personal reasons, rather than due to his footballing ability.

When asked about his repeated absence from the squad by EiTB, a media outlet from the Basque region in France, Laporte said: “That question only has one answer: there is a coach and he doesn’t call me, so I need to wait, to keep working and that’s it.

“Of course I don’t think it’s because of a sporting issue, you’d have to ask him personally, I don’t have anything personal against him, but if someone has a problem it’s him and not me.

“I could be a world champion… but these are the decisions of the coach, who is not calling me for, I think, personal reasons, and I have to respect him.

I’m not going to call him. Why? To slam him? No, obviously not. I’m still working in the club, playing at the highest level for this kind of thing [an international call-up]… the only person who can solve this is the coach,” he added.

Laporte had previously been called up to the French squad for a double-header of World Cup qualifiers in 2016 but did not play a single minute for Deschamps’ side.

The centre-back is eligible to represent Spain, and in the past, the former Athletic Bilbao man has suggested he would consider swapping his national allegiances if he was continually neglected by Deschamps. However, Laporte now seems to have ruled out that possibility.

“Play with Spain?” he said when asked about representing Luis Enrique’s side. “I think that’s already closed, but even so I opt for France because I’m French, I don’t have dual citizenship and I’m not going to ask for it. I don’t know if playing with Spain is possible.”

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Eddie O’Sullivan preview another big weekend of Heineken Cup action and dissect the week’s main talking points.


Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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