Arsenal have agreed to sell young defender Ignasi Miquel to Championship side Norwich City for a poultry £1.5 million, according to the Daily Mail.
The publication claims that the Spanish centre-back, who can also play at left-back, has had a medical with the Carrow Road outfit ahead of a switch which will see him leave the Emirates Stadium permanently, further thinning out Arsene Wenger’s defensive options.
With only Calum Chambers to provide cover for Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny the Gunners boss knows that he needs to add another experienced defender to the mix, with his need becoming ever more pressing as the transfer deadline looms large.
Despite Wenger’s usual insistence that young players should be kept and nurtured, Miquel is said to have been told by Arsenal that he has no future at the club. Having toiled to work his way into the first team without much success the 21-year-old spent a small part of last season on loan with Leicester City, though he failed to force himself into Wenger’s plans upon his return to north London.
As such the mooted switch makes sense for all involved, with Norwich now keen to ensure that he is transferred permanently as opposed to joining on loan, which was initially speculated as the ideal route. Having been at Arsenal since 2010 Miquel is sure to have a good understanding of how the English game works and, providing he can cement a place in Neil Adams’ first-team, will now be aiming to resurrect his career.
The attention will now immediately shift to the Emirates Stadium, with Wenger under considerable pressure to land a high-profile centre-back before the market doors slam shut tonight. Plans to land Greek starlet Kostas Manolas were scrapped after the 23-year-old joined AS Roma earlier this summer, and the sale of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona has left Arsenal dangerously thin at the back.
Only Chambers, who spent the majority of his time at Southampton playing as a full-back, is a recognised option to fill any void should Mertesacker or Koscielny fall foul of injury or poor form, and Wenger is acutely aware that he needs to spend money to fix the problem.
Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar, who enjoyed a fantastic World Cup with Holland, has emerged as a surprise candidate to fix the issue at hand, whereas interest is believed to still be fairly high in Manchester City’s Matija Nastasic.