Arsenal are set to start a bidding war for Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez by offering £26 million for the South American enforcer, Don Balon suggest.

The Uruguay international has been a star performer for a Vicente Calderon outfit that continues to defy the odds and go toe-to-toe with Spain and Europe’s top teams.

The 21-year-old’s emergence in the Spanish capital led to Diego Simeone parting company with long-term stalwart Joao Miranda and Atletico have become stronger as a result.

Gimenez has thrived alongside compatriot Diego Godin and looks set to be a future world-beater if he continues his development at the current rate.

The Gunners bolstered their defensive unit by signing Skhodran Mustafi over the summer, with the German comprising a solid-looking partnership with Laurent Koscielny at the Emirates Stadium.

However, with Per Mertesacker out of contract at the end of the season and on the treatment table currently, Arsene Wenger may well look for a replacement for the ageing defender.

Manchester United are also listed as a suitor of Gimenez in the report, with Jose Mourinho’s issues at the back clear to see so far this season.

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