Spanish report links Arsenal with summer move for Real Madrid defender

Raul Albiol Front Centre

Another defender has been linked with signing for Arsenal; this time Raul Albiol.

The transfer links to Arsenal keep on coming, and this time it is Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol (pictured above wearing the baseball cap).

Albiol was on the bench for Real Madrid at Old Trafford last night, but he remains far from a first team member playing just two minutes of their Champions League campaign this season,

He has made 10 La Liga appearances this season, most recently in the 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano in mid-February.

Despite having a long-term contract until 2017, Albiol is tipped to leave the club this summer, and Spanish website Fichajes.net claims he features highly on Arsene Wenger's list of defensive recruits alongside Ashley Williams of Swansea.

Albiol is not central to Madrid's plans and at 27-years-old is expected to be allowed to leave, with the report adding he 'still has the qualities which made him one of the most reliable defenders in Spain'.

He is a centre-back who can also play at right-back, and has 37 international caps for Spain to his name, most recently coming in 2012, but has lost his place after falling out of favour at his club.

Albiol made his name at Valencia, making more than 160 appearances for him before being signed for 15 million Euros in 2009.

It is difficult to say whether there is any concrete interest from Arsenal, there are no quotes from players, clubs, or even agents, but Albiol is likely to move on for the sake of his career, and Arsenal rarely conduct their transfer dealings in public in any case.

Arsene Wenger has looked to Spain in recent times as his acquisition of Monreal showed, and Albiol at 27 is experienced and talented to slot in and put pressure on his existing centre-backs, while being also used to being part of a large squad and would accept a certain amount of rotation.

Arsenal may be able to do a deal for around £5 million, so while you shouldn't expect any further developments on this until the summer, it remains one to watch going forward.

Would Albiol be a useful signing for Arsenal?

image: © tessekkur

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