Great chance for Arsenal after £25m ace rejects two new contract offers – Our View

Unai Nunez of Athletic Bilbao  during the Spanish Copa del Rey  match between Athletic de Bilbao v Sevilla at the Estadio San Mames on January 10, 2019 in Bilbao Spain

Arsenal have been linked with Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Nunez.

Unai Nunez of Athletic Club runs with the ball during the Copa del Rey round of 32 match between Elche CF and Athletic Club de Bilbao at Estadio Manuel Martinez Valero on January 22, 2020...

Arsenal may have a great chance of prizing away Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez after the defender turns down fresh contract offers.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the Spanish defender.

According to El Gol Digital, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has identified the player as a top target as he looks to strengthen the club’s defence this summer.

Nunez, 23, has been a standout for Athletic Bilbao. He has made 20 appearances in all competitions, averaging 1.3 interceptions and 4.3 clearances per La Liga encounter (Whoscored).

The Basque club are desperate to tie him down to a new deal with Nunez having a £25 million release clause inserted into his current contract.

Club president Rafa Alkorta, however, recently told El Correo how Nunez has already turned down two offers as a he fears losing the player.

"Our objective is to renew because we want him to stay with us. He is a valuable piece who gives us a lot. Right now, there is an offer on the table, which is in fact the third one that we have made,” Alkorta explained.


Arsenal must strike:

The Gunners have long been weak at the back. They have conceded 36 goals in 28 Premier League games, 11 more than Sheffield United.

Defenders David Luiz and Sokratis are above 30 years of age. Shkodran Mustafi doesn’t inspire confidence, while Calum Chambers isn’t reliable.

A new centre-back or two is a top priority for Arteta this summer. With the talent of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Aleksandar Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe in the final third, a top four spot should certainly be achievable with a more coherent back line.

Nunez, a former Spain U21 international, is comfortable in possession and strong off the ball. At £25 million, he could be a real bargain this summer.

Unai Nunez of Athletic Club in action during the Liga match between CD Leganes and Athletic Club at Estadio Municipal de Butarque on September 25, 2019 in Leganes, Spain.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch