Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte 'jealous' watching France win World Cup

NEW YORK -- Aymeric Laporte admitted he was jealous watching France lift the World Cup from home with the option of a switch to Spain remaining a possibility.

The Manchester City defender has not been called up by France manager Didier Deschamps since March 2017 and is still yet to make his debut for the national team, so it was not a surprise when he was left out of the squad for Russia 2018.

But Laporte, 24, could still play for Spain as he qualifies through residency after moving to Athletic Bilbao as a 16-year-old, despite representing France at junior levels.

"It was jealousy to be honest," he told reporters about watching France's success. "The decisions were made and you just have to accept them. That's how it is in football.

"It didn't come as a surprise to me that I wasn't involved. I hadn't been in the previous squad that had been named without me. But it was still a little disappointing for me not to be involved."

With 16 of City's squad called up for the World Cup, Laporte is one of the few senior players in the United States for their preseason International Champions Cup matches.

He has a slight injury, which is why he wasn't risked for Friday's game against Borussia Dortmund in Chicago, but he is hoping to use the games to push for a start when City return to England for the Premier League start in August.

Laporte started nine of City's 14 Premier League games following his £57m move from Bilbao in January and is delighted with how move has gone after rejecting a move to the Etihad Stadium two years earlier.

"Everyone wants to start and I'm working towards that," he added. "it's been a great move -- a perfect move for me.

"Pep is the best manager in the world, he's always looking to help me get better and improve my game.

"He's demanding yes but it's not scary -- his is a style of play that I really enjoy and I think I can improve and so can the team playing like this. I'm comfortable with what he asks me to do.

"I had a really good six months here. We won two titles and obviously we won a lot of games. It would have been nice if we'd played in the later rounds of the Champions League but that's something we can work towards this year."