Liverpool are closing in on Atletico Madrid’s promising right back Javier Manquillo.

The Reds are set to beat Arsenal for the signature of the 20 year old according to reports in Spain.

Manquillo is one of the most promising defenders in La Liga: he’s played regularly for Spain’s Under-20s and was part of the Under-19 European Championship-winning team in 2012. Simeone rates the youngster highly and wanted to loan him so that he could further his development and benefit from regular game time. Atletico were approached by French side Marseille to get the right-back for the upcoming season. New Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa is keen to improve his squad after a lackluster season for the French side and reports suggested that the manager is an admirer of the player and was keen on adding him to the side for the next season. Negotiations had reached an advanced stage and the deal was almost set to be complete but Arsenal suddenly became interested in him and the player reportedly put the loan to the French side on hold, after he learnt that Wenger too, was keen on getting him. 

It was likely that the youngster would join Arsenal after the Gunners officials approached his agent regarding a summer move. But reports in Spain now suggest that talks between the two parties have come to a standstill. Manquillo wanted to join another club, on loan or permanently, because he felt that he is going to play second fiddle to Juanfran did not see himself breaking in the first team. With Arsenal signing Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle, the 20 year old thinks that he would be playing as a cover for the Frenchman and wouldn’t be getting enough chances in the first team.

Reports in the Spanish media say that Liverpool have made preliminary inquiries about the player and are now favorites for his signature. AS suggested that Liverpool were close to getting the player in the winter. In fact, the Merseyside club were hopeful of agreeing a deal on the deadline day for around £8 million. But Atletico manager Diego Simeone did not want to sell a prized asset of the club without a buy-back clause in the deal and the Reds did not want the clause to be inserted.

However, it is now claimed that Brendan Rodgers has convinced the player that he is better suited with Liverpool than with Arsenal. Glen Johnson had an underwhelming season last time around and Manquillo can replace the Englishman in the first team immediately.

It is certain that Simeone is a huge admirer of the player and wants to keep him in Spain so the reports are dubious as there is a mention of both a buy-back clause and a loan, so whether his move to England will be permanently, or on a loan/buy-back option is unclear at the moment.