By Pete O'Rourke

23rd Dec, 2019 | 4:00pm

Exclusive: Man City in hunt to sign Spain international with £26m release clause, Everton keen

Man City have joined the chase to sign £25.7million-valued Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nuñez, Football Insider can reveal.

Arsenal, Everton and German champions Bayern Munich are all interested in the central defender after making regular checks on him this season.

Nuñez, 22, is understood to be on City’s list of targets after helped Spain win last summer’s Under European Championships before winning his first senior cap in September in the Euro 2020 qualifying win over Faroe Islands.

City are in the market for a new centre-back after failing to bring in a replacement for former captain Vincent Kompany last summer.

Nunez is said to have a £25.7million release clause in his Bilbao contract and that fee would no problem for City or any of Nuñez’s other suitors.

City enjoy a good relationship with Bilbao after signing Aymeric Laporte from the Basque club.

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They could test their resolve to hang onto Nuñez as they step up their hunt of a new central defender in the January transfer window.

City have been forced to play midfielder Fernandinho as a makeshift centre-back due to Aymeric Laporte’s absence through injury and Pep Guardiola’s side are short of defensive options.

Nunez has seen his first-team opportunities restricted this season, but he enhanced his growing reputation with an impressive display in Bilbao’s goalless draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu at the weekend.

The one-time Spain international has made seven appearances for his club this season and 58 in total since breaking into their senior side.

In other Man City news, Danny Mills has tipped Leeds United to sign ‘Fabulous’ City player in January.