Emirates Stadium side keen on Bernabeu bit-part player.
MANCHESTER UNITED and Arsenal are set to battle for Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol in January.
The 27-year-old has been ignored by boss Jose Mourinho for the Spanish champions last three games, sparking reports the unhappy star could be on his way out of the club.
United are currently facing a defensive crisis, with skipper Nemanja Vidic joining Phil Jones and Chris Smalling on the sidelines this week.
Arsenal will also compete for the versatile Spain international, with unsettled Bacary Sagna likely to move on from the Emirates soon.
SOURCE: Daily Star
Do Arsenal need added defensive options?
Currently Arsene Wenger has three in-form centre-backs to call upon at present with Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker all at the top of their game. The North London side have conceded just two goals in their opening five Premier League matches and though the options beyond this trio are a little thin, with Johan Djourou not being the most reliable option, it seems unlikely that the Gunners boss would consider a move for the Real Madrid man.
Apart from anything else if Raul Albiol is keen to leave Real Madrid to secure regular first team football a move to Arsenal is unlikely to resolve this concern. Whilst it’s true that the 27 year old former Valencia man can also play in a full-back role that position by no means where he is most comfortable.
And again Wenger does possess very decent back-up at both left and right back.
On the left flank the Arsenal boss can call upon Kieran Gibbs, who’s had a very solid campaign thus far, and Andre Santos. On the right youngster Carl Jenkinson is doing a wonderful job whilst Bacary Sagna recovers from injury.
A move to Man United may be a more likely scenario given the injury crisis Sir Alex Ferguson is suffering.
Albiol was a regular at Real Madrid in his first season at the Spanish giants but once Jose Mourinho arrived his spot in the starting eleven has grown ever tenuous. Youngster Raphael Varane’s emergence may well be the final nail in the Spanish international’s career at the club.
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