Arsenal have launched a €10 million bid to sign Espanyol defender Hector Moreno this summer, and hope to beat north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to his signature.
According to Mexican newspaper Record, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is keen to recruit the 27-year-old as he looks to strengthen his central defensive options at the Emirates Stadium next season.
Moreno rose to prominence at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil last summer, but suffered a broken leg in Mexico's last-16 defeat against Louis van Gaal's Netherlands side, resulting in a period of six months on the sidelines.
Article continues below
However, after making a full recovery the stopper has featured 23 times for Espanyol this season, and after making a number of impressive performances transfer speculation has resurfaced.
Mauricio Pochettino is a long-term admirer of Moreno having worked with him during his time in charge at Estadi Cornella-El Prat, and has been heavily linked with a bid to bring the player to White Hart Lane.
Article continues below
The Daily Mail reported at the end of last year that Spurs were keen to recruit the Mexico international, but it now looks as though Arsenal are looking to steal a march by securing the player's signature.
Despite signing Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal in the mid-season window Wenger still only has three recognised senior centre-backs, and Moreno would add significantly more depth to the squad.
Tottenham are yet to show their hand and could still lodge a rival offer, hoping that the opportunity to be reunited with Pochettino will prove decisive in the player's decision, as well as the prospect of more regular football than what he'll presumably get with the Gunners.
However, the fact that Arsenal will be playing Champions League football next season while Spurs are still not guaranteed Europa League entry, could sway him towards accepting more of a bit-part role at a more illustrious club.
Either way, he's still got a few weeks to think things over before the transfer window reopens. At this stage it's anyone's guess where Moreno will end up, but a Premier League switch is looking increasingly likely.
Arsenal fans: Do you think Hector Moreno would be a good signing for Arsene Wenger this summer? Are you worried about Tottenham making a rival bid? Have your say below…