Reports suggest Arsenal will fend off Tottenham overtures to land in-demand Mexican defender Hector Moreno this summer.
Set to cost a sizeable £15m, the Gunners were said to be keen on the Espanyol stopper’s services in January before turning their attention to Villarreal’s Gabriel Paulista instead.
However, with just three senior centre-backs available to Arsene Wenger, bolstering the defensive department remains a pre-season priority for the north London club and a renewed pursuit of Moreno is in the offing.
The marked improvement in his Catalan employer’s defensive showings following his return from an injury that prevented participation between August and December of this campaign offers a clear indication as to what an effective rearguard marshal the 27-year-old is.
Espanyol had kept just three La Liga clean sheets before ingratiating Moreno back into the side following a lengthy spell in the sick bay.
His first outing was a Copa Del Rey clash against Alaves, which his side won 2-0.
Two games on the sidelines followed before the second-leg of the aforementioned cup game took place and another flawless victory was recorded, this time by a 1-0 scoreline.
He didn’t return to league action until mid-January in a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo.
Across his first six games of the campaign, Moreno oversaw five clean sheets and as many wins.
In total, their shutout count with the Mexican in from the off stands at 11, in stark contrast to the drastically diminished figure mustered in his absence.
Four of these have come in their last five outings, as the recently tough to beat Espanyol make a late dash towards La Liga’s Europa League spots.
A potential area of concern regarding the club’s 2011/12 Player of the Year is his aerial ineptitude.
He has won an average of 1.2 headers per match this term, a downgrade on his 2.1 per outing effort of the previous campaign.
A defender who gets by on technicality over physicality, it could be argued Moreno isn’t right for the Gunners, who have two centre-backs in Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel who are on the lightweight side.
The 6/1 about him joining the Emirates club before the summer transfer window closes seems to agree.