According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Arsenal are chasing talented Colombian centre-back Jeison Murillo. Inter Milan’s 24-year old defender, who was a mainstay in the third best defence in the Serie A, looks to be available for approximately £20m.
Inter Milan have been forced to listen to offers, as they look to make up a £39m deficit in order to comply with financial fair play rules.
Arsenal are eyeing a new long-term partner for Laurent Koscielny, as Per Mertesacker has proven problematic at the back, lacking the pace to keep up with the intensity of the Premier League.
The athletic Murillo would provide more speed to an Arsenal defence that year after year, are vulnerable to counter-attacking sides that move forward with pace.
Murillo’s stock has risen dramatically this past season. After one year with Inter Milan, the Colombian centre-back, who was signed from Granada in La Liga for only €8 million, looks set to leave the Italian giants for more than triple that amount.
While Murillo has shown himself to possess the necessary attributes to acclimatise successfully in the Premier League, his discipline might present an issue.
After three red cards in the 2015/16 campaign, the youthful centre-back has exhibited a lack of composure that would translate poorly in the Premier League, where the pace of the game makes every decision more important.
This lack of discipline is something Arsenal do not need.
After four red cards in the league last season, Arsene Wenger will be looking towards restoring a level of discipline throughout the squad. In this sense, Murillo represents a risk for an Arsenal side that can’t afford to make the same mistakes.
Murillo has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, with Leicester and Everton both reportedly interested in the Colombian’s signature.
If Arsenal are keen to bring the centre-back in, they will have to move quickly, as Premier League clubs look to splash the cash throughout Europe.
The Murillo signing would be a surprising one, as Wenger signed 25-year old Gabriel Paulista only last season. With Gabriel already 3rd choice, and developing quickly, Arsenal would be wise to find an established partner, who can step right into the starting XI.
While it’s unlikely Murillo will join Arsenal, Wenger is undoubtedly searching for a world-class defender to partner Laurent Koscielny, with players like Medhi Benatia, Kostas Manolas and Kalidou Koulibaly representing far more realistic targets.