Arsenal are bracing themselves for a bid for Manchester City for one of their stars of the season, according to reports.
Nuno Tavares – a summer acquistion from Benfica – is being linked to the Premier League champions, with Pep Guardiola apparently keen to add a more natural full-back to a squad that currently only boasts two options in the position.
Guardiola’s first-choice on the left of his back four is the right-footed Joao Cancelo, with Oleksandr Zinchenko – a converted attacking midfielder – as his back-up. Benjamin Mendy is currently suspended by the club.
Tavares was brought in over the summer for under £10m, with Mikel Arteta praising his scouting team for their work covering the 21-year-old.
Though he struggled at times to break into Benfica’s first team, he has acted as an able squad player for Arsenal and flourished as an attack-minded full-back, providing width and good quality crosses.
The Gunners would probably resist selling the player – not least because he’s only been in north London a matter of months – but City could be prepared to pay a fair amount of money.
Since Guardiola arrived in the Rainy City, the Etihad outfit have spent considerable amounts on full-backs, paying over £25m for Danilo, around £50m each for Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy and about £60m for Joao Cancelo.
While COVID-19 has reduced such exorbitant fees, Arsenal would surely demand at least triple what they paid for Tavares.