River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios has confirmed Arsenal are interested in signing him this summer.
The 20-year-old has been tracked by Arsenal and Real Madrid in the last year and is considered one of the brightest prospects in South America.
Real agreed a £20million deal with River Plate for Palacios last summer, before injury scuppered the move and Arsenal have been tipped as the new frontrunners.
Asked about his future this week, Palacios revealed Arsenal were one of his suitors: ‘I’m proud clubs like Real Madrid and Arsenal are interested in me.’
Though Real agreed a £20m fee last year, Palacios’s release clause stands at a reported £18m.
Unai Emery is planning a big summer, but will have to spend within his means due to a restricted transfer budget.
The Spaniard reportedly has a transfer kitty as small as £45m and will have to offload some first-team players to raise further funds.
Arsenal are ready to listen to offers for the likes of Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi, as Emery targets an overhaul of his squad.
But Arsenal’s efforts to lure big-name players to the Emirates is reportedly being hampered by their failure to qualify for the Champions League.
A humiliating 4-1 defeat to Chelsea ended Arsenal’s hopes of securing Champions League football next season.