Athletic Bilbao acts quickly, signs Martinez to replace Laporte

Atletico de Madrid's Antoine Griezmann, right, duels for the ball with Real Sociedad's Inigo Martinez. (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

MADRID — Athletic Bilbao didn’t take long to replace young French defender Aymeric Laporte after his move to Manchester City.

The Spanish club said Tuesday it had signed central defender Inigo Martinez from Basque Country rival Real Sociedad, spending 32 million euros ($39 million) on the player’s buyout clause.

Laporte left to play for Manchester City after his clause of 65 million euros ($80 million) was paid on Monday.

The 26-year-old Martinez had been with Real Sociedad since 2011. He was called up to Spain’s national team under current coach Julen Lopetegui.

His contract with Athletic will end in June 2023, and has a buyout clause of 80 million euros ($99 million).

Also Tuesday, Sevilla signed Mexico fullback Miguel Layun on loan from Porto. The Spanish club has an option to acquire the 29-year-old player at the end of the season.

Layun had been with Porto since 2015. He previously played for Watford in England and Granada in Spain.

He will be a key figure in Mexico’s squad for the World Cup in Russia.

Sevilla said it also signed midfielder Roque Mesa from English Premier League club Swansea on loan until the end of the season. Sevilla said it has the option to acquire the Spanish player.

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