Date: 16th October 2019 at 10:00am
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Arsenal are closely monitoring Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez ahead of January, Football Insider understands.

The north Londoners are assessing potential centre-back options as they look to strengthen their brittle back line.

An Arsenal source has told Football Insider that the club have already jetted out on regular transfer missions to assess Nunez, 22, and plan to step up their pursuit.

The north Londoners have been encouraged by the centre-back losing his regular starting role at Bilbao.

Nuñez started the first two games of the season, playing the full 90 minutes of the 1-0 win over Barcelona in August, but he has found himself mainly playing a back-up role on the bench following the return to fitness of Iñigo Martinez.

That could open the window for Arsenal to make a swoop for a player who has been likened to Manchester City’s defensive kingpin Aymeric Laporte.

However, there is also interest in Nunez from Everton, who have also struggled defensively in the new campaign.

Arsenal’s first choice centre-back pairing this season have been Sokratis and surprise summer signing David Luiz.

However they have looked vulnerable and Rob Holding is expected to challenge for a starting role now he is fully recovered from a knee injury that has sidelined him for 10 months.

Arsenal spent a club-record £72million on Nicolas Pepe in the summer as well as £27million for William Saliba, £25million for Kieran Tierney, £8million for Luiz and £6million for Gabriel Martinelli.

In other Arsenal news, it can be REVEALED the club are plotting a big-money West Ham swoop.