Arsenal Transfer Rumour: Arsenal tipped to beat Manchester United to Jose Gimenez's signature
Atletico Madrid’s 21-year-old wonderkid Jose Maria Gimenez is getting all the attention and it is no surprise that the defender is targeted by top clubs for a transfer as early as in January. However, according to The Sun, it has emerged that the player is interested in a Premier League move to Arsenal despite strong intentions of bringing him to Old Trafford. The ball is seemingly in Arsenal's side of the court now and sources report that Arsene Wenger himself is in search of an addition to the heart of their defence.
Arsenal have made a solid start to their Premier League campaign and seem to be title contenders, with many pundits declaring them as favourites. However, their resurgence has been equally matched by Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea so far which could prompt manager Arsene Wenger into bolstering his squad.
Per Mertesacker was ruled out for months due to an injury suffered early in the season and has been replaced by compatriot Shkodran Mustafi who was bought from Valencia this summer. Although Mustafi’s centre-back combination with Laurent Koscielny has been proven so far, Wenger could be thinking long-term with the absence of equally capable cover in the squad.
German international defender Per Mertesacker is still facing knee trouble while Brazilian Gabriel Paulista has fallen down the pecking order. That leaves just former Bolton trainee, yet another summer recruit, Rob Holding as cover.
Jose Maria Gimenez made his international debut for Uruguay at a tender age of 18 and his talent was almost instantly spotted when he managed to engage Radamel Falcao for the entire game single-handedly. That game ensured that Uruguay qualified for the 2014 World Cup and Gimenez would eventually become an important part of it. Gimenez later developed along with mentor Diego Godin at Atletico Madrid.
"You don't have to tell him a lot," Godin said of his protégé. "For his age, he has a lot of experience with Uruguay and Atletico Madrid in big games. The truth is he has always demonstrated a lot of personality and composure."
So far, Gimenez has made only two appearances all season. Furthermore, he has only a little over 18 months to run on his contract which has increased other clubs’ efforts to sign him, beginning with Manchester United. Atletico Madrid renewed his contract in January by increasing the player’s salary and the buyout clause to £56 million but did not extend the length of his contract keeping him at the club only until 2018.