Unai Emery is desperate to be reunited with Paris Saint-Germain defender Thomas Meunier and has reportedly urged Arsenal’s board to find the funds required to sign him.
The Belgian right-back was a frustrated figure for the French champions this season, having only been used sparingly by Thomas Tuchel, and is ready to leave the club.
Manchester United have also been looking at Meunier – who is a diehard fan of the Red Devils and attended several matches this season – but Emery is eager to swoop in.
According to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, Emery has spoken to Meunier several times, having maintained a good relationship with a player he signed for PSG three years ago.
However, Arsenal’s defeat in the Europa League final – and thus failure to qualify for the Champions League – has severely affected the club’s summer transfer budget, with some reports speculating they only have around £35m to spend.
As such, Emery has specifically asked the Arsenal board not to remove Meunier from their shopping list, even though he would wipe out a significant portion of the budget given his £22m price tag.
Some at Arsenal would question spending so much on a right-back when Hector Bellerin will return from injury soon and Ainsley Maitland-Niles has impressed in a wing-back role.
But Emery is absolutely clear that he wants to bring Meunier to the Emirates, with the 27-year-old enjoying his best season – when he scored four times and laid on as many assists – under Emery in the 2017/18 campaign.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also in the market for a new right-back, with Antonio Valencia leaving the club and Ashley Young turning 34 next month, but Meunier is only one of their backup options, not their first-choice target.