Unai Emery is interested in signing one of his former players for his new club, as Villarreal are linked with a swoop for Arsenal outcast Matteo Guendouzi.
Guendouzi has not featured for the Gunners since losing his temper in the 2-1 defeat to Brighton in June, and it appears Mikel Arteta has decided the French midfielder has no future at the club.
The 21-year-old was an important first-team player under his former boss Emery, however, who was sacked by the Gunners in November.
And according to French outlet Foot Mercato Emery is keen to end Guendouzi’s Emirates nightmare by luring him to La Liga.
Emery took over the Yellow Submarine last month and will be expected to challenge for a Champions League qualification spot next season after they finished fifth this year.
Guendouzi is likely to be the kind of player they are looking to attract in order to make that happen, but they will likely face competition for the player, with Barcelona also thought to be expressing an interest.
Guendouzi is clearly a big fan of Emery, and admitted when he joined the Gunners in 2018 that the manager had a big part to play in his decision to move to north London.
He told Canal Football Club: “He [Emery] was definitely a reason why I went. It was him who really wanted me to come to Arsenal.
“He is a very good manager, we have done very good results since the beginning of the season with him.
“He doesn’t come across as feeling under particular pressure, he is just doing what he loves to do. He has transmitted that to us on the pitch and that is why we are getting the results we are getting.”
It remains to be seen how much Arsenal would be willing to let Guendouzi leave for, but he could be available on a cut-price deal given how little hope he has of working his way back into Arteta’s plans.