Arsene Wenger’s desire to strengthen his midfield received a boost with the Daily Mirror reporting that Marcos Llorente, 22, is set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.
The Arsenal boss is concerned about the long-term implications of Santi Cazorla’s injury while there is a growing sense that the best of Granit Xhaka will only be realised if he has a more defensively minded partner.
Atletico Madrid are interested in taking Marcos across the Spanish capital but their chances are hampered by the FIFA-imposed transfer ban they are currently serving. It’s left Sevilla as the Gunners only serious rivals for the midfielder.
Returning to Madrid following a successful loan spell at Alaves – including a 2 – 1 win at Barcelona – the Spanish Under-21 international found Mateo Kovacic ahead of him in the busy queue for places in the Real Madrid midfield.
Llorent is part of Real royalty. His father and great uncle are Paco and Francisco Gento, with the latter winning 12 La Liga titles and 6 European Champions Cup titles in the 1950s and 60s.
While the Real hierarchy prefer another loan spell, they are prepared to let Llorente leave on a permanent with a buy-back option inserted. While that may suit Sevilla, it’s a potential stumbling block to a deal with Arsenal.