Arsenal in pole position to sign 22-year-old Spanish centre-back

Gunners have identified Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres as the defender to solve their defensive problems and are reportedly set to get creative to sign the defender in winter. Arsenal have endured a poor start to the new campaign, sitting in sixth place after winning only four of their first 12 matches and recording a negative goal difference.

That poor run of form, coupled with questionable tactical decisions and selections, has seen the pressure on the Spanish tactician grow.

They could also back him in the transfer market, as Arsenal are exploring a winter swoop for Spain international. Pau, who has played every minute in La Liga this campaign, is increasingly hot property after scoring on his debut for the Furia Roja against Malta.

Given his growing profile, Torres will not come cheap, and he has a £43m release in his deal which does not expire until 2024. But that has not put off Gunners, who are exploring the possibility of constructing a deal same to the one which secured Nicolas Pepe.

Although the Ivory Coast forward’s £72m arrival from Lille in the summer smashed Gunners transfer record, they only paid £20m upfront. The remaining £52m will be paid off over five years, and the London club bosses are hoping the same transfer package, staggered over several years, will be acceptable to the Spanish club.

Unai Emery will know all about the 22-year-old defender, who has emerged as a central figure at Villarreal this campaign after spending the previous season on loan at Malaga, while Man City have also been credited with an interest in the cultured, left-footed centre-back.