Alvaro Arbeloa is willing to agree a move to Arsenal after the Premier League club opened talks with Real Madrid over a possible transfer, reports El Confidencial.
The 31-year-old is out of favour under Carlo Ancelotti and the Bernabeu chief is looking to move him on before the transfer window closes on Monday. His publicised feud with Iker Casillas continues to invite controversy to the team and Arbeloa is no longer welcome.
With Arsenal seeking reinforcement in defence, Arbeloa has been highlighted as a potential short-term, cheap option for Arsene Wenger. Having accumulated 66 Premier League appearances for Liverpool, Arbeloa would also come to the Emirates with experience in the English game.
Arsenal have been encouraged by Real Madrid that a deal can be agreed. Arbeloa is ready to move and Real Madrid are keen to sell.
However, Arsenal are not the only club circling the Bernabeu. Napoli have also been in touch with Real Madrid and have received the same encouragement. Arbeloa is open to the idea of moving to Serie A as well.
Stronger competition may come in the form of Chelsea, who, according to Spanish newspaper AS, are readying a late move to sign the Spain international. Jose Mourinho built a strong relationship with Arbeloa during his three-year spell as manager of Real Madrid and is ready to offer him the chance to link up again at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal's late move for Arbeloa has appeared just one day after talks with Olympiacos broke down over a deal for Kostas Manolas. The young centre-back seemed on the verge of a move to north London, but a late offer from AS Roma saw the deal cancelled at the 11th hour.
WIth just three centre-backs in the squad, including the inexperienced Calum Chambers, Arsenal are looking worryingly thin in defence. Nacho Monreal has already been deployed as a makeshift central defender and looked far from comfortable.
The Gunners are prioritising a defender despite growing fears for their striker options. Olivier Giroud appears set for a spell on the sidelines, leaving Wenger with the choice of Yaya Sanogo or wide player Lukas Podolski up front.
Despite calls from fans to sign a replacement, the Arsenal boss seems happy to rely on his current squad options to cover for Giroud, regardless of how long he is out.