Benfica's Nuno Tavares agrees five-year contract with Arsenal, transfer imminent

Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Nuno Tavares from Benfica and have already agreed personal terms with the young left-back, according to reports in Portugal.

The Gunners are plotting an ambitious summer spending spree and want to bring in five major signings, though they are also looking to plug gaps in their squad with rather less spectacular arrivals.

Arsenal have been in need of a new backup left-back to play understudy to Kieran Tierney, with the Scot’s frequent injury absences causing Mikel Arteta several headaches last season.

The likes of Cedric Soares, Bukayo Saka and even Granit Xhaka all filled in at left-back, with the problem exacerbated by the decision to loan out Sead Kolasinac – who will likely be sold this summer.

Benfica’s left-back Tavares has been identified as ideal cover and competition for Tierney and, according to Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias, a deal is now very close.

Arsenal have already held extensive talks with both the player and Benfica and have agreed a five-year contract with the 21-year-old.

A final agreement over a transfer fee is still pending, though they have reached an understanding in principle and the total outlay of the deal is expected to be around €15million (£12.8million).

Arsenal were alerted to growing interested in Tavares from clubs around Europe, including Napoli and Southampton, and have sped up talks to try and conclude a deal, with Jornal de Noticias describing the transfer as ‘imminent’.

Tavares was used sparingly by Jorge Jesus last season, starting just seven games as he struggled to displace first-choice left-back Alejandro Grimaldo, but Arsenal got to see him in action first-hand in their Europa League clash.

The Portugal Under-21 international will be one of a host of new faces arriving at the Emirates this summer if Arteta’s spending spree goes to plan.

The Gunners are deep in talks to sign Ben White and Albert Sambi Lokonga from Brighton and Anderlecht respectively, while they are also looking at Aaron Ramsdale, James Maddison and RB Leipzig right-back Tyler Adams.

Another player Arsenal are monitoring as a potential solution at left-back is Real Madrid’s 19-year-old starlet Miguel Gutierrez, though Tavares appears to be their first choice for the role.

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