Arsenal and Everton are reportedly keeping tabs on Unai Nunez, who has rejected a new deal from Athletic Bilbao and could be on the move.
According to Spanish publication AS, as relayed by Sport Witness, Unai Nunez is the subject of interest from Arsenal and Everton, among others. The 23-year-old is at an impasse with Athletic Bilbao over a new contract and could be set to depart San Mames in the summer transfer window.
Unai Nunez joined the Athletic Bilbao setup aged ten in 2007 and subsequently made rapid strides through the ranks before eventually breaking into the first-team setup ahead of the 2017/18 season. However, after featuring regularly in his maiden campaign at San Mames, it has been slow progress for the Basque defender.
Over the last couple of seasons, the 23-year-old has managed to turn out just 29 times in La Liga for Los Leones, with Yeray Alvarez and Inigo Martinez being preferred over him. Perhaps that is why he has rejected a new contract from Bilbao. His stock, though, appears to still be high, with Arsenal and Everton among the clubs that are showing an interest in him.
Arsenal seem to be in the market for a centre-back, despite extending the contract of David Luiz by one year in addition to signing Pablo Mari on a four-year deal. That means Mikel Arteta will have as many as eight centre-backs at his disposal when William Saliba joins up with his squad for the very first time.
Granted that Sokratis and Konstantinos Mavropanos may well be on the move in the summer, but the Arsenal boss will still have ample resources to be deployed at the heart of the defence. In such a scenario, the urgency to sign a centre-back does not appear to make sense. Everton, on the other hand, do need a central defender this summer.
As of now, the three centre-backs available to Carlo Ancelotti ar Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate. However, while Holgate appears to have his manager’s faith, neither Keane nor Mina has managed to impress on a consistent basis. That aside, it is clear that a fourth option would be quite handy for the Everton manager.
To that end, the Toffees have been linked with former star John Stones, who is also a target for Arsenal. Nunez, though, is another option worth considering for Ancelotti and Everton. Despite his struggles in the last two seasons, the 23-year-old is still a reliable defender. And the fact that his release clause is worth a mere €30 million makes him an even more appealing prospect.
Nunez has already rejected a contract offer from Athletic Bilbao as he seeks assurances over playing time. What now remains to be seen is that Arsenal, Everton or other suitors like West Ham United, AC Milan and AS Monaco are serious about their interest in the Spanish international.