Arsenal have reportedly added Unai Nunez to their shortlist of defensive targets as Mikel Arteta looks to his homeland for potential transfers.
Arteta is ready to re-shape the squad to his liking in the months ahead, for what will be his first summer transfer window in charge of Arsenal.
One of his main tasks will be to shore up the Gunners’ defence, with only Burnley, Chelsea and Tottenham having a worse defensive record in the Premier League this season.
Arsenal’s most ambitious defensive target is Dayot Upamecano, who has been told by the sporting director of his current club RB Leipzig to think carefully before committing to his next move.
A cheaper alternative would be Chris Smalling, who has been tipped to move from Manchester United to the Emirates Stadium along with Jesse Lingard if he doesn’t make his loan to Roma permanent.
But according to La Razon in Spain, there is now a third contender to be Arsenal’s new leader at the back – Athletic Bilbao star Unai Nunez.
The 23-year-old is reported to have a £30m release clause, which has interested Arsenal (and Everton) for some time, although no club tried to activate it in January.
With fellow Spaniard Arteta now at the helm at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal are now said to be keen on going back in for the one-time Spain international.
They are not the only Premier League side interested in swooping for Nunez, though, with La Razon adding that Manchester City and West Ham are considering a move – while Bayern Munich and Inter Milan are watching on from Europe.
Should Arsenal make their interest concrete, though, it could come as part of a triple raid on La Liga, with Arteta also keen on Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler and Espanyol’s Marc Roca.
Both players are valued at €40m, but with Roca’s current club bottom of the table, he could leave for a much lower price if they are relegated.
Likewise, Valencia are struggling to balance the books at present, which may cause them to give up Soler on the cheap as Arsenal look to replace Dani Ceballos.