Manchester City have an advantage over Arsenal in race for Spain left-back for one reason

Manchester City and Arsenal both have their eyes on Valencia’s talented young left-back, José Luis Gayà, according to Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph, but as things stand the Blues have the advantage for one reason.

Champions League football is an important factor in Gayà’s decision when, as is likely this summer, he leaves Mestalla for one of the wealthy clubs targeting him. In addition to City and Arsenal, Barcelona and Real Madrid have been mentioned as admirers.

As it stands, Manchester City are (just about) qualifying for the Champions League, sitting in 4th place, just ahead of neighbours Manchester United and three points behind Liverpool with a game in hand. But should Arsenal win their own game in hand on City, they will be only three points behind. If Gayà’s priority is Champions League, then City and Arsenal’s final league positions could have extra importance.

21-year-old Gayà emerged as one of Europe’s hottest young left-backs a couple of years ago, but a dip in form recently cooled speculation of him joining another club. However, he recently impressed during Valencia’s 4-2 defeat to Barcelona, assisting one of Los Che’s goals in that game, and is still viewed as an elite prospect.

The Daily Mail also names Gayà, who has represented Spain in every youth group, as one of Pep Guardiola’s full-back targets this summer, but new reports today suggest that Txiki Begiristain will be in Monaco tonight to watch left-back Benjamin Mendy against Juventus. Perhaps City are after two, with the left-back position identified as a major weakness.

Gaël Clichy is out of contract in June and the other left-back, Aleksandar Kolarov, has been preferred by Guardiola as a left-sided centre-back for much of this season.

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