Arsenal and Manchester United have both submitted proposals for Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente, according to reports in Spain.
Spanish outlet AS report that Llorente wants to leave Real Madrid this summer, and he already has several proposals from around Europe. Manchester United, Arsenal, AS Roma, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are all possible destinations, but the midfielder himself has reportedly expressed a preference for the Premier League.
It’s no surprise Llorente wants out, considering he’s only made 15 appearances this season, seven of which were in the Copa del Rey and the Club World Cup. Seven starts in the Champions League and La Liga all season isn’t exactly where you want to be as a 24-year-old.
Llorente still has a contract until 2021, and Madrid want to include a buyback clause in the case of a permanent transfer. It seems unlikely Arsenal would agree to that, considering the recent suggestions that they’re looking to invest in players with high potential resale value, and a buyback clause would curtail that potential.
Despite Llorente’s limited appearances this season, he’s performed well when given opportunities. His average WhoScored rating of 7.02 in La Liga makes him the sixth-best performing player at the club in that regard, as he displays strong ability in terms of his passing but also winning the ball back.
The question is whether Llorente’s really the player Arsenal need. His five career goals suggest he’s not going to replace Aaron Ramsey’s goalscoring output, and it’s not as if he provides many assists either. He’s a defensive midfielder, and the Gunners already have their fair share of those. We’ll see what happens.