Arsenal are keen to bolster their defensive ranks by completing the signing of Mario Hermoso from Espanyol, according to Spanish outlet Sport.
The 23-year-old was in fantastic form for the La Liga side during 2018/19. He played 35 games, scoring three goals as Espanyol achieved a respectable seventh-place finish.
The Gunners are desperate to bolster their defence. Boss Unai Emery led the team to fifth during his maiden campaign in the top-flight; but with better defenders, he might have overseen a charge into the top-four.
Hermoso would represent a commendable replacement for the out-of-sorts Shkodran Mustafi, who has struggled with his composure during 2018/19.
Arsenal won’t the only club vying for his signature, however. Bayern Munich and PSG are both interested in signing the centre-back who could be sold for £18 million this summer, according to the report.
One obstacle in any deal could be Real Madrid. They inserted a £6 million buy-back clause into Hermoso’s contract when they offloaded him in 2017. Real could opt to re-sign their former player and then sell him for a significantly higher profit.
Hermoso would certainly give Arsenal an upgrade on anything they have in the centre of defence at the moment.
The Gunners’ defending at times during the last 12 months has been shambolic at best and defensive recruits are a must for Emery this summer.
At 23 Hermoso represents a defender who is yet to reach his peak and the £18 million being touted for him looks like an absolute steal.
Tough in the tackle and comfortable on the ball, the Gunners must do all they can to ensure the Spain international pledges to join Emery’s project at the Emirates.