Liverpool have joined the race to sign La Liga starlet Javier Manquillo after they failed to secure his services during the January transfer window, IBTimes UK understand.
The Gunners had also been in advance negotiations with Atletico Madrid to secure the loan of the 20-year-old right-back – with Arsene Wenger's demand for an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season the only stumbling block.
While the negotiations between the clubs have stalled as Atletico refuses to part with one of their most promising talents, close sources to the negotiations have assured IBTimes UK that Liverpool have made a last-minute approach to the player regarding a summer move.
Brendan Rodgers is a long-term admirer of Manquillo and offered £8m for him in the January transfer window, but Atletico Madrid already refused to let him leave on a permanent deal. They demanded Liverpool include a buyback clause for the future but Rodgers rejected the terms.
When Rodgers got wind Atletico were keen on loaning him to Arsenal, the Liverpool boss quickly renewed his interest in the right-back.
Even though recent reports in Spain claim he could also move to Sevilla as part of a deal that will see Alberto Moreno moving to Atletico, Manquillo is only interested in playing in the Premier League.
Rodgers wants him as a long-term replacement for Glen Johnson –whose contract expires next summer – while Wenger is keen on using him as an understudy for new signing Mathieu Debuchy– letting 22-year-old Carl Jenkinson move away on loan to complete his development elsewhere.
Manquillo is considered one of the most promising right-backs in La Liga, a regular for Spain's Under-21s, having already won the Under-19 European Championship in 2012.