Arsenal have been taking a look at Girona defender Miguel Gutierrez after Fabrizio Romano verified reports from Spain about their interest.
Romano has confirmed recent claims that Arsenal have been scouting Gutierrez in weeks gone by as they consider their options at left-back. The Gunners sanctioned a loan move for Kieran Tierney to Real Sociedad over the summer after he fell behind Oleksandr Zinchenko in the pecking order, while Nuno Tavares went to Nottingham Forest on a temporary basis after a similar spell with Marseille the season before.
Having to use players like Takehiro Tomiyasu (normally a right-back) or Jakub Kiwior (a centre-half) as cover at left-back has prompted a realisation that they could have done with replacing Tierney in a more orthodox manner.
Now, they are watching Gutierrez as someone who could fill the void. The 22-year-old has impressed across 11 starts in La Liga so far this season for Girona.
Many clubs are said to be taking note of his progress, but the one with most power in this instance is Real Madrid, because they have the right of first refusal when it comes to buying Gutierrez.
The Spaniard previously developed in the Madrid system and his hometown club will be owed 50% of any future transfer fee Girona receive.
In effect, if anyone makes an offer for Gutierrez, Madrid will have the option to take him back instead while only making a net spend worth half of the other bid.
However, Madrid might be having other thoughts at the moment for the left-back berth, such as targeting Alphonso Davies from Bayern Munich.
It means Arsenal remain very much in contention to complete the signing of Gutierrez, although it is not yet clear what price for.
Girona have Gutierrez under contract until 2027 after acquiring his services last summer. He has so far totalled 48 appearances, five assists and two goals for his current club.
Previously, he played 10 times for Madrid, while at international level, he has been capped with Spain’s under-17s, under-18s, under-19s and under-21s.
Bids being prepared for Gutierrez – but who from?
The original report in Spanish, before Romano gave his take, suggested that there could even be offers for Gutierrez in January.
None of the other potential bidders for the defender have been named, though, so it remains to be seen who Arsenal are in the race with and what their chances of success would be.
There is already one other Spanish player in the Arsenal squad in the shape of David Raya, the goalkeeper who arrived on loan from Brentford over the summer, while the manager in the dugout, Mikel Arteta, also shares Gutierrez’s nationality.
Being able to communicate with Arteta might help Gutierrez’s adaptation to English football if he was to make a move to Arsenal.
However, for the time being, there is nothing to suggest they will definitely be able to buy him. After all, even if Girona accept a bid by them, it would not guarantee their freedom to sign him while Madrid can still meddle with his future.