Villarreal will demand £44 million from any interested party who is willing to sign Pau Torres; potentially handing Arsenal a blow in their quest to sign the centre-back.
The 23-year-old has played every minute in La Liga this season and is an integral part of Unai Emery’s team.
Villarreal have enjoyed a flying start to the campaign under the former Arsenal boss, losing just once against Barcelona.
Arsenal will need to part with a sizeable amount of money in order to land the player, according to El Periodico Mediterraneo.
Although the Gunners may have some funds remaining, it seems unlikely they will spend such an amount on another centre-back.
Gabriel arrived in the summer and has looked a shrewd addition.
He has helped the Gunners look more solid in defence, with a big area of concern now finding a creative spark for Arteta.
Torres’ stock should continue to rise this season and if he leads Villarreal into the Champions League, the current valuation will look a steal.
The Spaniard has played 54 times for the Spaniards in total, scoring three goals and claiming two assists.
Torres was sent on loan to Malaga last season but is now establishing himself as a key part in the Villarreal team.
TBR View – Arsenal might have missed the boat on Torres
The time to try and snare the seven-cap Spain defender would have been during the last two years.
He was seemingly out of favour at Villarreal and a sale might have seemed more probable.
At £44 million, Torres does now look like something of a pipedream for the Arsenal hierarchy who backed Arteta heavily in the summer.
With Champions League qualification looking unlikely at this stage, the Gunners might have to be selective with their January business.
On the evidence of the first nine games, a creative spark is desperately needed, with the defence vastly improved the majority of the time.
Torres could prove to be one that got away for Arsenal.