From Spain: Arsenal eye swoop to sign 27-year-old La Liga defender

By on January 23, 2019

According to reports in Spain via The Sun, Arsenal are eyeing a move to sign Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi but can’t afford to meet his £27m release clause this month.

Unai Emery is desperately trying to strengthen his squad before the transfer closes as he’s seen his options decimated by a number of serious injuries with Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck all ruled out for the rest of the season.

We’re widely reported to be in the market for another attacker with the likes of Denis Suarez and James Rodriguez strongly linked in the media but we badly need reinforcements in defence as well.

It looks like the club are working hard trying to identify potential targets as The Sun are citing a report that originates from Spanish outlet El Desmarque that says Arsenal are looking to sign Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi.

However, tight financial constraints mean Emery can only loan players this month so the report says we may have to wait until the end of the season to be able to meet the 27-year-old’s £27m release clause.

Betis are highly unlikely to let Mandi leave on loan mid-season as they’re enjoying an excellent campaign and the defender has made 27 appearances in all competitions to help them pushing for a European qualification spot.

The Spaniards are under no immediate pressure to sell as Mandi is under contract until 2021 so Arsenal are facing an uphill battle to sign the Algerian international this month and any potential move will probably have to wait until the summer.

MORE: Arsenal working to sign 2 players this month

Mandi made his name in France at Reims where he reportedly attracted interest from Arsene Wenger but a move failed to materialise and he joined Betis in 2016 and has proven to be an excellent signing for the La Liga club.

The 6ft 1in star is predominantly a centre-back but he’s more than comfortable playing at right-back or even left-back if required so his versatility would be a useful asset for Emery if Arsenal were able to lure him to the Emirates.