Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen to sign Malaga left-back Vitorino Antunes when the transfer window re-opens in January.
This is according to the Mirror, who claim that the veteran Gunners’ boss is desperate to strengthen his defensive options in the New Year.
Antunes to cost £2.5m
Antunes has a £2.5 million release clause in his contract and has been identified by Wenger as a player who could provide valuable back-up for Arsenal’s current first-choice left-back Kieran Gibbs.
Nacho Monreal, who himself joined the Gunners from Malaga in 2013, is a left-back by trade but can also double up as a central defender.
Wenger keen to strengthen defence
And Wenger is keen to sign Portugal international Antunes to add some strength in depth to the left full-back position at the Emirates Stadium following the departure of club captain Thomas Vermaelen, who joined Barcelona in the summer.
Arsenal spent £16 million on young English centre-back Calum Chambers, who could spend the next three months playing at right-back after summer signing Mathieu Debuchy was sidelined with an ankle injury, but are just one or two injuries away from a full-blown defensive crisis.
Is he good enough for Arsenal?
Antunes has impressed since joining Malaga from Portuguese outfit Paços Ferreira last year. He also spent four years with AS Roma but struggled to cement a first-team place at the Stadio Olimpico.
At £2.5 million, Wenger may believe that Antunes is value for money - but is he good enough to play for the Gunners?