Fabrizio Romano says Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard “could become an option for Arsenal” with Jurrien Timber set to undergo surgery on his right knee.
Pavard reportedly wants to leave the Bundesliga club this summer and has attracted interest from Manchester United and Champions League finalists Inter.
The French World Cup winner joined the Bavarians from Stuttgart for a fee in the region of £30million in 2019.
He has made 163 appearances for the club, winning ten trophies and providing 24 goal contributions in the process.
Able to play as a right-back or central defender, Pavard would be a very handy signing for Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.
Ten Hag has chopped and changed his defence since joining the club last May with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot battling for a starting berth in right-back.
The Dutch manager’s favoured central defensive partnership is Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez but the former’s injury problems have seen Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire come in to the starting XI.
United are actively looking to offload Maguire, who is not interested in leaving, which would see them push to sign Pavard.
The Red Devils had an opening offer rejected by Bayern having reached an agreement to sell Maguire to West Ham and with the Hammers pulling out of the deal to sign the 30-year-old, the club’s move for Pavard is in doubt.
They are unlikely to pay Bayern’s £30m asking price for the 27-year-old unless they sell Maguire, which has given Inter a boost in their pursuit.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Pavard is now “top of the list” for the Nerazzurri and surprisingly noted that Arsenal “could” make a bid.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “Benjamin Pavard, one to watch as he’s prepared to leave Bayern now Inter have Pavard on top of the list – proposal expected soon to open talks.
“Man United deal stalling due to Maguire situation…could become option for Arsenal to replace Timber – no decision yet.”
This update does hint that Romano is suggesting Pavard would be a good option for Arsenal, rather than saying Mikel Arteta is interested in signing the player.
Or perhaps Romano knows Pavard is on Arteta’s wishlist but no decision has been made whether or not the Gunners will invest in a new defender.
Speaking on Thursday, Arteta did admit he is “open” to signing a defender before the end of the summer transfer window after Timber was ruled out for the majority of this season, if not the entire campaign.
“I’m more thinking about the resources in the team to do what we want to do,” the Spanish manager told reporters. “But it’s true he was giving us a lot on both sides.
“We are always open and we have to be open as well to the injuries but also to react to the market.
“It’s never my decision. It’s a lot of people. My focus is on getting the best out of the squad right now. That’s my aim.”