Arsenal Set to Rival Everton for Athletic Bilbao’s £30m-Rated Centre-Back Unai Núñez

​Arsenal and Everton look set to do battle for the signature of Athletic Bilbao and Spain centre-back Unai Núñez as both teams look to shore up their respective defences.

Both sides are reportedly keen on the 22-year-old, who has already earned a senior cap for Spain and is believed to have had a £30m release clause inserted into his contract with the La Liga side. 

Núñez’s exemplary performances for the Spain in their victorious Under-21 European Championship campaign this summer caught the eye of several clubs across Europe.

Unai Nunez

However, according to the ​Daily Mail, it is Arsenal and Everton who are the interested Premier League contingent, with both optimistic of a potential deal as the youngster has struggled for first team chances this season.

Núñez became a mainstay in Los Leones’ back line in 2017/18, making 36 appearances for Bilbao. However, these opportunities have diminished over the past two seasons, with the defender playing just 14 games for the Basque side in the 2018/19 season, falling behind Iñigo Martinez and Yeray Álvarez in the pecking order. 

Meanwhile the 22-year-old has only featured three times in the league so far in the 19/20 season, including a clean sheet against Catalan giants Barcelona.

Athletic Club v FC Barcelona  - La Liga

It is no secret that ​Arsenal are in dire need of defensive reinforcements. Question marks loom after poor starts to the season for both Sokratis and David Luiz, while 24-year-old Rob Holding is only just easing his way into the side after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in December 2018.

Meanwhile, ​Everton only have Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate as the senior centre-backs in a side who have conceded 13 goals thus far in the 19/20 campaign. Marco Silva’s side are languishing in the relegation zone and so the need for bolstering the defence is obvious.

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