Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Real Betis’s defender, Aissa Mandi, who would only cost €30m, a full €30m more than Arsenal have available to spend.

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 13: Aissa Mandi of Real Betis Balompie (L) competes for the ball with Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF (R) during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Benito Villamarin on January 13, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)
SEVILLE, SPAIN – JANUARY 13: Aissa Mandi of Real Betis Balompie (L) competes for the ball with Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF (R) during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Benito Villamarin on January 13, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal’s game against Manchester United on Friday night, Unai Emery admitted the club wanted to sign a centreback.  “It’s difficult, you know, but I am working with our players and I think we need – and we can – sign some players to help after our injuries like Rob Holding, like Welbeck, like Hector Bellerin,” Emery said.

“But we can play with the players we have now and the same message is to you and every supporter, we only want to sign one or two players who can really help us with good performances. The club is working. They know our intentions, our possibilities for signing players that can help us, but they work and also with communication to us.

Arsenal's Spanish head coach Unai Emery gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Cheslea at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 19, 2019. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP)
Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Unai Emery gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Cheslea at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 19, 2019. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP)

“The idea is firstly to find the quality and this quality can help us. We need, if he can come here, a winger for the right or left or some players also at centreback. But now, Dinos Mavropanos is coming back after his injuries and I think I can use him in the next matches.”

A centreback you say? Like Aissa Mandi whom El Desmarque claim Arsenal are interested in?

The story, and it’s source, are quite vague as Sport Witness highlight, but none of it matters anyway if Betis want actual cash for him. We can pay them in, well I’m not actually sure what we could pay them in. Thoughts and prayers, perhaps?

€30m is the amount in Mandi’s release clause and the Spanish publication do say that Emery wants him for next season, hinting at a summer move when Arsenal will have hoked all the loose change out of the sofas at London Colney.

Real Betis, for their part, are reportedly trying to renew the 27-year-old’s current deal, which expires in 2021, and increase his release clause.

West Ham had a €14m offer turned down last summer.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.