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Laporte ‘very happy’ at Man City amid Champions League ban transfer fears

14:18 GMT 20/03/2020
Aymeric Laporte, Man City
The French defender admits an enforced absence from European competition would “hurt” the Blues, but he intends to stick around at the Etihad Stadium

Aymeric Laporte admits that a Champions League ban will “hurt” Manchester City, but he is “very happy” at the Etihad Stadium and will not be pushing for a move elsewhere.

Exit fears have been sparked within the ranks of the reigning Premier League champions on the back of UEFA’s decision to sting them with a two-year suspension from European competition.

With no elite continental football to use as a bargaining tool when it comes to landing fresh faces or keeping familiar ones on board, it has been suggested that Pep Guardiola may find it difficult to keep a star-studded squad intact.

Raheem Sterling is once again generating talk of interest from Real Madrid, while questions are being asked of club-record goalscorer Sergio Aguero and whether he will stick around ahead of his 32nd birthday.

Guardiola has also seen his future queried, with no new contract agreed in Manchester, while Barcelona and Real are considered to be admirers of classy centre-half Laporte.

The French defender is, however, giving no thought to a possible transfer, with the 25-year-old planning to keep faith with the Blues.

Laporte told The Times on City’s European ban, which they are contesting: “We are waiting for a final decision. We are going to see what happens next season.

"Obviously it would hurt us a lot if we aren't in the Champions League next season.

"I am very happy here at Manchester City. I am enjoying my football here. We are doing great things here. In the last two years we have won eight trophies."

At present, Laporte is among those on lockdown as competitive football falls victim to the coronavirus outbreak.

He is looking to use his time wisely, though, with it important that every member of City’s squad is raring to go once the green light is given for Premier League action to resume.

"That's (a personal training schedule) the best thing for everyone, that we do it every day," Laporte said.

"They trust in you and you have to be professional. You have to follow what they say and we have to be responsible in this case.

"When we return to normality, when we start training again outside, we have to be ready."

Laporte added on his actions during a period of quarantine for much of the global population: "We have the same protocol as has been given out in all countries: stay at home as much as possible, don't go out in the street, don't shake hands with anyone.

"If you go to the supermarket and you see someone you know, say hello to them, but don't shake their hands or get close to them."