Arsenal have identified the need for a defensive overhaul this summer with one of Spain’s best and most developing players on their radar.

Athletic Bilbao central defender Unai Nunez has rejected a contract extension at the San Mames, thereby fueling rumours about a new challenge that he may desire. Metro has reported that Arsenal, Everton and West Ham are all in the running for the Spaniard.

The 23 year old has a 27 million pound release clause, which in the current transfer market is not a huge fee to pay up. There is wide speculation among the Spanish media outlets that he is likely to leave the Basque County this summer as his current contract runs until 2023 and the club doesn’t want to take risks, especially with his low release clause amount.

Nunez has only started 12 La Liga games this season and four further substitute appearances which has prompted him to be reluctant in signing a new deal.  Despite not being a regular starter for Gaizka Garitano‘s side this season, he has caught the eye of the Premier League’s seasoned clubs.

Arsenal’s need for a centre-back is urgent and Unai Nunez would be a perfect signing for them. David Luiz has extended his contract and Shkodran Mustafi has definitely looked better under Mikel Arteta than under any of his previous managers, but the Gunners simply cannot afford to take risks and continue playing two defenders who have a high propensity of making definitive errors.

Unai Nunez was brilliant for Athletic in the 2017/18 season, which many considered his breakthrough after Aymeric Laporte departed for Manchester City. In spite of playing much lesser than expected, his quality has come to the fore lately and his aerial abilities, as well as his strong physique will be handy for Arsenal’s defence that has been breached very easily of late.

While the Emirates Stadium may look like the most attractive destination for the player considering other options, the club must act first given that a rejuvenating AC Milan as well as French outfit AS Monaco are interested in landing his services. However, it’s increasingly likely that they will prioritize over Thomas Partey‘s signing over anyone else’s for the time being.

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