Arsenal are reportedly “one step ahead” of other clubs in the race to sign Real Madrid attacker Cesar Gelabert this summer, according to Spanish newspaper AS.
The 19-year-old has impressed this season after breaking into Real’s Castilla side, with 13 league games and one goal under his belt, according to Transfermarkt.
Gelabert, who is contracted at the Bernabeu until the summer of 2021, is a versatile and talented player who has been utilised on both flanks, up front and in central midfield.
The AS report claims that Arsenal and Manchester United are the two clubs most interested in signing Gelabert, while Barcelona, Lyon, Borussia Dortmund, Real Zaragoza and Real Valladolid are also keen.
However, the Gunners are believed to be ahead of the Spain youth international’s other reported suitors, with boss Mikel Arteta understood to have scouting reports on his UEFA Youth League displays against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
Although Zinedine Zidane is fond of Gelabert and wants to keep him at Real, the youngster will be entering the final year of his contract next season and, as such, Los Blancos may cash in to stop him leaving for nothing next year.
“It’s important to talk about the canteranos, who are the future of Real Madrid,” Zidane told AS in 2018. “He is a very good player, very adventurous on the ball.”
Gelabert currently has quite a few players ahead of him in the Real pecking order, such as Eden Hazard, Isco, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez.
That said, Arsenal are hardly lacking in the positions Gelabert plays in either – Joe Willock, Mesut Ozil, Reiss Nelson, Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli to name a few.
Nonetheless, given how much Gelabert has impressed, it’s little surprise to hear about Arteta reportedly being eager to swoop in and seal the deal ahead of the likes of Manchester United.