Premier League • England

Arsenal find buyer for star they’re desperate to sell, but Edu blunder leaves Gunners needing Nott’m Forest favour

Arsenal chief Edu and manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal have the chance to generate funds from the sale of a player they’re anxious to offload this month, though an Edu oversight means they’re reliant on a favour from Nottingham Forest.

The Gunners have been conspicuously quiet this month, with their efforts to strengthen in any department hamstrung by their minimal transfer budget.

Arsenal spent in excess of £200m last summer and without lucrative player sales, are limited in what they can do from an arrivals perspective this month.

A defender is wanted to provide cover in both full-back positions. Elsewhere, Arsenal would be open to signing Karim Benzema on loan from Al-Ittihad and the former Ballon d’Or winner has formally asked to leave on a six-month loan.

Benzema would need to take a giant pay-cut before a return to Europe becomes viable and one way in which Arsenal could cover his still-significant salary would be through the permanent sale of Nuno Tavares.

The 23-year-old was an £8m signing from Benfica back in 2021 and has failed to make the grade at the Emirates.

The marauding left-back was loaned to Marseille last term where he excelled in a wing-back role. He joined Nottingham Forest last summer in a season-long loan deal that contains an option to buy worth £12m.

However, Marseille have emerged as a serious contender to sign Tavares outright this month.

Taking to X, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano stated: “Marseille are still trying to sign Nuno Tavares as new left-back.

“Arsenal are 100 percent open to selling Nuno to Marseille now on permanent transfer.”

Edu blunder puts ball in Nott’m Forest court

Such a move would be a godsend for Arsenal given he clearly has no future at the Emirates and Forest’s deal is an option – not an obligation. It would also generate a fee for Mikel Arteta to put towards a late-window signing of his own.

However, Arsenal’s hands are tied due to the fact Tavares’ loan at the City Ground does not contain a recall clause.

As such, Edu’s oversight means Arsenal cannot force Forest to send the player back ahead of selling him to Marseille.

Adding to Arsenal’s anguish is Romano’s claim Forest are insistent on keeping Tavares for the full length of the loan.

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Tavares barely got a look-in under former boss Steve Cooper and if the Welshman were still in charge, Forest’s stance might have been different.

However, Tavares completed the full 90 minutes in Forest’s clash Brentford last Saturday and it appears the defender’s outlook for game-time is healthier under new boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

As such, Arsenal are now reliant on a favour from Nottingham Forest if they’re to complete a deal with Marseille before the February 1 deadline.

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