Atletico Madrid right-back Juanfran is set to extend his contract with the club by an additional year, after turning down an offer from Arsenal.
According to Spanish outlet AS, Juanfran has agreed to extend his contract by an additional year if he reaches 25 appearances this season. The right-back is currently at 22, meaning he only needs another three in the next month and a half.
AS add that Arsenal knocked at the player’s door to try and take advantage of his expiring contract, offering him a pay increase, but the Spaniard has decided to remain with Atletico.
The article doesn’t make it entirely clear when Arsenal made their offer, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it was some time earlier this year. Hector Bellerin will be out injured for a long time yet, and Stephan Lichtsteiner hasn’t proven a good alternative so far.
The Swiss international’s form has been mixed, and he’s publicly stated he only wants to sign on for another year if he can play regularly, which is unlikely to happen. The Gunners may well look at the market for another short-term solution at right-back as a result.
Assuming that’s the case, it’s a shame Juanfran won’t be that player. If Arsenal can’t find anyone to fill the position, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is doing a good job for the time being, at least.