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Aymeric Laporte’s transfer to Man City saved French eighth-tier club from bankruptcy

French minnows Sporting Union of Agen was Laporte's first club before he moved to Bilbao

Aymeric Laporte’s move from Bilbao to Manchester City was one of the biggest stories of the January transfer window.

The Premier League leaders coughed up £57 million for the defender – breaking their transfer-record in the process – who made his debut for the side in their 3-0 win over West Brom last week.

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Meanwhile, Bilbao used around half of the money they received to sign Inigo Martinez as a replacement, while 1% of the fee went to Laporte’s little-known hometown club Sporting Union of Agen.

His debut went very well

PA:Press Association
His debut went very well

And while 1% doesn’t sound like very much, it still amounts to around €650,000 – which is enough to keep the modest club from going into administration next season

According to Bilbao-based outlet El Correo, Agen – who are currently sat bottom of the eighth-tier of French football – were facing judicial liquidation next season before receiving the money, which instantly quadrupled their budget for the current year.

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Jean-Claude Brunel, Agen’s co-president, said: “Fate knocks at our door. It is unexpected and a beautiful reward for our efforts.

“If the ruling had not been manifested, we were determined to close at the end of the season as we were unable to meet the operating costs.”

Laporte became a mainstay at Bilbao before moving to Man City

Getty - Contributor
Laporte became a mainstay at Bilbao before moving to Man City

Laporte joined his hometown club at the age of six before he was snapped up by Bilbao in 2009. He made his first-team debut for the Basque club in 2012.