Monday 22 January 2018

Manchester City set to challenge Arsenal for Bilbao starlet Inaki Williams

Arsenal are keen on young striker Inaki Williams Photo: AP
Arsenal are keen on young striker Inaki Williams Photo: AP

Arsenal's transfer-market resolve is to be tested this month, say The Express, with Manchester City threatening to beat them to the signature of Athletic Bilbao sensation Inaki Williams.

The 21-year-old, who has scored 10 goals so far this season, signed a new contract only last week - with a release clause of nearly £40m - but that hasn't warded off interest from the Premier League giants, and Arsenal have sent scouts to monitor the pacy forward on several occasions.

Staying in the gastronomical and architectural hotbed of northern Spain, Arsenal are also keeping tabs on Athletic's 21-year-old goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Don Balon. The appropriately-named youngster - seen as a potential long-term successor to Petr Cech - is currently out on loan in Spain's second tier with Real Valladolid, where his performances have caught the eye of Arsene Wenger's scouting network.

That could spell the end of David Ospina's brief but inoffensive Arsenal stay. The Colombian remains firmly behind Cech in the pecking order at the Emirates and, at 27, is keen to secure regular first-team football.

French newspaper L'Equipe and distinctly non-French radio station Talksport seem in agreement over reports that Mathieu Debuchy - leapfrogged in the Arsenal pecking order this season by the impudent young Hector Bellerin - is so desperate for first-team action that Aston Villa are a viable alternative.

The 30-year-old, keen to cement his place in the France squad for Euro 2016, has been a target for Villa manager Remi Garde for some time and is now keen to make a temporary switch to Villa Park until the end of the season. Despite rumoured interest from West Brom and Ligue 1 side Lille, Debuchy is set to join the Villans relegation dogfight - but insists he still sees his long-term future at the Emirates.

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