The reasoning behind Arsenal overlooking a proven Premier League performer to bolster a position in need has been revealed.
Several areas of the Gunners squad could be set to experience change this summer. Midfield has become a hotbed for transfer news and speculation, with a plethora of first-teamers including Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi all tipped to leave. But bubbling under the surface has been the topic of who should provide depth at left-back behind Kieran Tierney.
The Scotland international recently put pen to paper on a new long-term deal at the Emirates. However, options behind the injury prone 24-year-old are thin on the ground, resulting in Cedric Soares, Xhaka and Bukayo Saka deputising last season.
Saka’s precocious talents are better utilised further up the field, meaning a new left-back is a must this summer.
Impending free agent Ryan Bertrand had been touted as one potential option. The 31-year-old is a proven performer in the top flight and wouldn’t require a transfer fee. However, Leicester appear to be leading that race after Arsenal were reportedly in favour of a younger option that wouldn’t hinder Tierney’s development.
Now, that outlook has a clear goal in mind after the Athletic confirmed Arsenal’s interest in an exciting Portuguese talent.
They state that the Gunners are ‘interested in signing Benfica defender and Portugal U21 international, Nuno Tavares.’
The 21-year-old featured 25 times last season and could be available for as little as ‘€10 million.’
Newcastle had been linked with the youngster in April, but he is seemingly now in Arsenal’s crosshairs.
The article describes Tavares as a forward-thinking full-back who is ‘dynamic, athletic and capable of making driving runs.’ In other words, he embodies many of the attributes modern managers look for from their wide defenders.
Arsenal are also credited with interest in Real Madrid’s rising left-back, Miguel Gutierrez. However, his release clause is set at €40 million.
An approach for Tavares therefore appears far more likely. And as such, trusted source Fabrizio Romano tweeted a ‘€7m/€8m’ bid could soon be lodged.
Arsenal lay waste to ambitious Aston Villa plan
Meanwhile, Arsenal have reportedly insisted that they will not consider selling Emile Smith Rowe for any price, after Aston Villa increased their transfer offer.
They have offered £30million this time around, but have faced the same response from Arsenal officials.
In fact, Arsenal have reportedly reiterated that they will not consider any offers for the 20-year-old.