Arsenal are lining up a January for Villareal centre-back Pau Torres in a bid to improve their defence, according to reports.
The Gunners sit sixth in the Premier League table after winning only four of their 12 games so far, with their back line coming in for criticism throughout the campaign.
Recent reports have linked Unai Emery’s side with a move for Juventus’ Merih Demiral in the new year but according to The Sun, Arsenal have another target on their wish list.
The newspaper says that Torres is eyed by the North London club as an ideal candidate to step in and improve their defence, which has leaked 17 goals to date this term.
Torres extended his contract with Villarreal until 2024 last month but that – alongside the £43m release clause in the deal – has not put Arsenal off, according to the report.
It is claimed that Arsenal are hoping to strike a deal similar in structure to the one that brought Nicolas Pepe to the Emirates earlier this year. In that case, the Gunners paid Lille £20m up front with £53m to be paid in later instalments.
Torres is enjoying a breakthrough season at Villarreal this term having been given his chance following an impressive loan spell with Malaga in the previous campaign.
The 22-year-old has made great strides already, coming on for his senior Spain debut on Friday and netting in his country’s 7-0 win over Malta.
Arsenal are back in action next Saturday when they host Southampton in the Premier League.