Laporte: Deschamps didn't return my texts before I swapped France for Spain

Euro 2020 Top 100 Aymeric LaporteGetty Images

Aymeric Laporte has claimed Didier Deschamps did not return his texts before he swapped France for Spain at international level.

Laporte represented France from U17s to U21s and was called up to the senior squad for the first time in 2018 before having to withdraw through injury.

The Manchester City defender decided to switch allegiances to Spain earlier this year having successfully applied for dual citizenship, which prompted a critical response from Bleus boss Deschamps.

What did Deschamps say?

The Frenchman said he never received any prior warning from Laporte, telling reporters at the start of the month: "What makes me uncomfortable is what he might say, and that's a lie. The only message I received from him was in October about a situation regarding an injury. He hasn't played for us? It could've happened, ten seconds would've been enough."

Laporte sets the record straight 

Laporte has now offered his side of the story in an interview with The Guardian, insisting he messaged Deschamps directly but never received a response.

Asked if he'd made France aware of Spain's pursuit of his services, the 27-year-old said: “Six years before. They didn’t call me. While I don’t want to go over this again, I had sent a message and didn’t get a reply.

“I have it here. Maybe he [Deschamps] changed number, got a new phone. Could be. I don’t know, but I replied to the same number he’d called from before.

“I didn’t get a reply then. Anyway, given everything that happened, nor did I think I was important enough to France to have to inform them of anything.

"My importance to them has been more a media issue than anything. I’ve always been very clear that I’m going to be with those that want me, not those that don’t.

"I’m not saying France didn’t want me, but I’m grateful to those that ‘bet’ on me. Spain did and I’m trying to return that faith."

When did Laporte make his final decision?

Laporte made up his mind to switch nationalities after being contacted by current Spain manager Luis Enrique prior to his squad announcement for the Euros, but admits that his family did not take kindly to the news at first.

“I’d been in contact with Spain for years because they’ve always wanted me. Luis Enrique called. I took the decision," he said.

“It wasn’t an easy decision at all. My family still lives in France and from very young I played there with the national team. There were family chats, discussions, an exchange of opinions, the same doubts there would be if you had dual nationality I imagine.

"Everyone has different feelings. I felt comfortable coming with Spain, fully identified. That’s what made me change everything. Also, my family hasn’t spent eight years in Spain like me.”

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Laporte's record with Spain so far

Laporte made his debut for Spain in a friendly clash with Portugal on June 4, after being named in Enrique's final 26-man lineup for the European Championships.

The City centre-back started all three of La Roja's group stage matches at the tournament, scoring in a 5-0 thrashing of Slovakia, and will be in line to feature once again when they take on Croatia in the round of 16.

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