Unai Emery is in the market for a new centre-half after Rob Holding’s season was ended prematurely through injury, while French star Laurent Koscielny is still working his way back after tearing his Achilles in May.

‘If we can take one player to help us at centre-back, I think it’s a good option,’ Unai confirmed earlier this month. ‘But a transfer is not easy.’

Real Valladolid star is believed to be top of their wishlist, while his release clause of just €11 million (£10 million) has already attracted interest from sides such as Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla.