Spanish full-back ‘remains priority’ for Arsenal, with ex-Chelsea man now being ‘monitored’

Ivan Fresneda, Real Valladolid, January 2023 Credit: Alamy
Ivan Fresneda, Real Valladolid, January 2023 Credit: Alamy

Ivan Fresneda is reportedly still Arsenal’s “priority” according to insider Ben Jacobs, but ex-Chelsea man Tino Livramento will also be “monitored” by both the Gunners and Manchester City.

Fresneda was an option for Arsenal in the January transfer window. Indeed, Mikel Arteta appeared keen and placed a bid which was reported to be of £13.1million for the full-back.

Despite that, it appeared Fresneda wanted to remain with Real Valladolid and no deal was done. That’s no surprise, really, given he’s only played 10 games for them and likely wanted to settle in senior football before a big move.

While he didn’t want to move in January, that won’t stop Arsenal in the summer. Indeed, insider Jacobs reveals Arteta is keen on snaring the Spaniard then.

“Arsenal will look at a right-back this summer to add a bit of depth and plan for the long term,” he told Caught Offside.

“Arsenal’s priority remains Ivan Fresneda, who they tried to sign in January.  Fresneda opted to stay at Real Valladolid until the end of the season despite offers from both the Gunners and Borussia Dortmund.

“Fresneda’s agent Luis Bardaji actually said up to 30 teams had made enquiries for the 18-year-old. Newcastle were also tracking him.”

While he’ll likely have a lot of interest again, it doesn’t seem that will stop Arsenal. However, Fresneda is not the only full-back the Premier League leaders have eyes on.

“Tino Livramento is another intriguing option, who has had horrific luck with injuries,” Jacobs added.

“Chelsea have a buy-back option active in 2023, but it’s not thought they’ll activate it, especially now Gusto has signed from Lyon. And all suitors will obviously have doubts given his long spell out on the sidelines.

“But Livramento will be monitored when fit with a view to a possible move over the next 2-3 windows by both Arsenal and Manchester City. And if he hadn’t suffered his injury he may already be at one of those two clubs already.”

Fresneda seems to be the immediate option Arsenal are keen to pursue, with Livramento maybe further down the line. It’s unclear what will happen with Ben White if a new right-sided defender joins.

He’s been a revelation in the position this season, and the centre-backs have also been in top form. As such, whether or not he’d return to centre-back – his main position – remains to be seen.

Perhaps the new man would simply provide cover for him. If it’s Fresneda, given he’s so young, White’s position should be safe for a season or two.

The interest in Livramento from Manchester City could prove problematic. Youngster Rico Lewis might be the only right-back in the squad soon, with Kyle Walker ageing and Joao Cancelo potentially leaving permanently when his loan spell at Bayern Munich is up.

Lewis has been fantastic since his elevation to the first-team squad, but can also play in other positions. As such, Livramento could see City as the better option to further his career prospects.

In any case, it might not be in the immediate future that any of that is answered.

READ MORE: Transfer gossip: Man Utd star to replace Arsenal-bound England midfielder as Rafa waits for West Ham

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