By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 19/09/18 8:42am
Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte believes his international future lies with France despite suggestions he could choose to play for Spain.
The 24-year-old, who is of Basque descent, moved to Spain eight years ago and despite representing France at four different youth levels is still eligible to play for Spain.
There were reports in the summer when Laporte was not selected for France’s World Cup squad that he could switch allegiance to Spain.
But speaking ahead of Manchester City’s Champions League opener against Lyon, he said: “I don’t have any news either way, to be honest with you.
“Regarding what was said about me playing for Spain, firstly it never happened and secondly I don’t think it will happen either.
“It’s probably not possible so if anything I will play for France. I will play for France but obviously only if I get selected. That’s not up to me that’s up to the manager.”
Unlike City, who remain unbeaten this season, Lyon are struggling for form. They are seventh in Ligue 1 following two defeats in five games and Laporte, who has started every game so far, is hoping they can take advantage.
“I hope it’s a good time to play them now, absolutely,” he added. “If we can benefit from their current situation then why not.
“But by the same token we’re thinking about our job, our work, what we’re doing and what we have to do.
“We’re not too bothered about other teams regardless of whether they’re in a good moment or a bad moment.
“We’re going to work really hard as usual, play our game as we have been this season, and try to win the game”.
Mikel Arteta will step into Pep Guardiola’s shoes for the game while the City boss serves a touchline ban for his sending-off against Liverpool last season but Laporte is unfazed by the unusual circumstance.
He said: “Normally the coach is on the bench, but we know what we need to do and we get plenty of guidance from Mikel who works with us every day. That helps us a lot.
“We get on well with Mikel. He was a terrific player and he spends a lot of time with us. He knows what a player is thinking so I think he’s a great coach.”