Spanish defender Aymeric Laporte has bid farewell to Manchester City and embarked on a new journey with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in a transfer deal valued at 27.5 million euros (£23.6 million). Laporte, 29, now joins the ranks of Al Nassr alongside notable players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic, Seko Fofana, and Alex Telles.
Laporte initially arrived at Manchester City from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018, having been secured for a then-club-record fee of £57 million. His proficiency in executing Manager Pep Guardiola’s strategy of playing the ball out from the back significantly contributed to City clinching five Premier League titles in the last six seasons.
Over his tenure, Laporte featured in 180 matches for the club, achieving an impressive tally of 12 major trophies, including a treble in the previous season. Despite limited opportunities in the most recent season, where he notched up 12 goals and 28 appearances, Laporte expressed gratitude towards the fans and his teammates for an unforgettable experience at Manchester City.
Laporte’s departure was met with acknowledgment from City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, who praised his role in the team’s successes and respected his decision to explore new horizons due to the competition within the defensive lineup.
Having chosen to represent Spain internationally in 2021, Laporte garnered 22 caps and contributed to their victory in the UEFA Nations League final in June. His transition to Al Nassr comes amid a trend of high-profile players, including Ronaldo, Mane, Brozovic, and others, making their way to the Saudi Pro League. Al Nassr, along with several other Saudi clubs, underwent a change in ownership, being acquired by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
As Laporte embarks on this new chapter, he looks forward to embracing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, while continuing to hold a special place for Manchester City in his heart.