Three times in a row Champions League winners Real Madrid have reportedly emerged as favorites to secure services of long-term Arsenal transfer target Jose Gimenez.
The Gunners new manager Unai Emery is keen to bolster his defensive options ahead of the 2018/19 season following the retirement of Per Mertesacker and injury of Laurent Koscielny.
The Club scouts have been keeping the tabs on the progress of Gimenez for several months, and the Gunners were expected to lodge a formal bid for his signature this summer.
However, Spanish outlet Marca reported that the Los Blancos center-back now moved ahead of Arsenal to secure services of Uruguayan international.
The European champions are ready to trigger Gimenez’s £53m release clause to lure him at Santiago Bernabeu., capitalising on hesitation from the North London club.
Arsenal are close to bringing in another centre-back at Emirates Stadium as Sokratis Papastathopoulos set to join them for £16m within weeks.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have reportedly agreed on a one-year deal with Switzerland international captain full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner.
The 34-year-old right-back is currently on the books at Serie A champions Juventus, however, will be a free agent once his deal expires in the summer.
According to Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, on Wednesday morning Arsenal reached the agreement with the players after talks between the two parties has been held.