Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares is close to signing for Arenal in an €8 million deal as Mikel Arteta identifies his preferred backup for Kieran Tierney.
According to The Guardian, Arsenal are very close to completing the signing of Nuno Tavares from Benfica for €8 million. The transfer would see Mikel Arteta acquire a player to provide backup to Kieran Tierney, as the Gunners’ have been looking for such a profile since January.
Arsenal did not sign a left-back in the January transfer window as they could not find the right player. Mikel Arteta heavily relied on Granit Xhaka to provide backup to Kieran Tierney when the Scotland international missed crucial games through injury. Tierney’s absence hurt Arsenal as they were knocked out of the Europa League.
Arteta identified signing a left-back was necessary in the current window and Arsenal solidified their interest in Tavares by holding talks with Benfica over the last few weeks. The Gunners were convinced of his quality and made all possible efforts to get the player. They also offered Matteo Guendouzi in a swap deal for the left-back, although such a deal did not come to fruition, with the midfielder likely to join Marseille in the coming days.
Nonetheless, Arsenal are now close to signing Tavares from Benfica. The 21-year-old is considered one of the up and coming stars of Portuguese football and has seen praises for his performances last season.
Before Arsenal identified Tavares, they were pursuing other targets from the Premier League. Ryan Bertrand was linked with a free transfer when the season ended. Arsenal also looked at Patrick van Aanholt, who would be available on a free transfer after as well. However, while they could bring immense experience into the squad, Arsenal decided against those moves and have preferred a younger alternative to those ageing players.
Arteta is now looking to trim his squad following Arsenal’s failure to qualify for Europe next season. The north Londoners have an overflowing squad with many players on the wrong side of their age profile that the manager is looking for. With the signing of Tavares, Arsenal could nurture a young player with value for a future sale if needed.
Tavares played in 14 league games and another five in the Europa League for Benfica in the 2020/21 campaign. The 21-year-old was a backup to Alejandro Grimaldo at the club last term. While it would be difficult to usurp Tierney’s position as the first choice, the youngster can be used for cup games next season.