Barcelona's Neymar (R) fights for the ball with Real Sociedad's Zaldua during their Spanish first division soccer match at Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian February 22, 2014
Barcelona's Neymar (R) fights for the ball with Real Sociedad's Zaldua during their Spanish first division soccer match at Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian February 22, 2014Reuters

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is interested in including young Real Sociedad right-back Joseba Zaldua as part of the Carlos Vela deal, according to reports in Spain.

The 21-year-old, who had a tremendous impact in the Basque club's first team last campaign by making ten appearances, has attracted Wenger's interest as he looks to strengthen his defence by bringing in young players who can serve the club for years to come.

Moreover Arsenal view Zaldua, who starred in Sociedad's youth teams, as a replacement for Bacary Sagna, who left for Manchester City. Wenger is also monitoring Manchester United's Chris Smalling as a back-up target.

According to El Confidencial, the talks with Zaldua have already started and within hours Real Sociedad will receive a proposal from Arsenal to negotiate the signing of the right-back.

Sociedad want Arsenal to relinquish their buy-back option on Carlos Vela, who moved from North London to San Sebastian in 2012. Arsenal are thought to want money in return for ceding the €4m buy-back clause, and Sociedad may offer them Zaldua in lieu of payment.

However, the young defender may choose to stay in his homeland as a move to London could hinder his professional progress.

Arsenal cannot afford to delay their decision on Vela, as Atletico Madrid have reportedly earmarked the Mexican striker as their main target to replace Diego Costa – while Barcelona and Real Madrid are also monitoring his situation.