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Manchester City and Arsenal to rival Real Madrid for £45.1m left-back – report

Real Madrid have made Real Betis sensation Júnior Firpo a priority for next season but face competition from England with both Manchester City and Arsenal keen on the 22-year-old, AS reports.

The left-sider, who can play as a left-back or left winger, has been outstanding for Betis and his form has alerted some of Europe’s big clubs, with Real Madrid seeing him as the perfect replacement for Marcelo.

Los Blancos are willing to pay his €50 million (£45.1 million) release clause, but both City and Arsenal would also like the Spain under-21 international and have the finances to put up a challenge.

Arsenal are in the hunt for a replacement for ageing left-back Nacho Monreal as they look to give Unai Emery a squad that can finally challenge for the Premier League title.

For City, a new left-back could become a priority with the club’s only specialist in the role, Benjamin Mendy, proving to be injury prone and limited to 18 total appearances in one-and-a-half seasons at the club.

Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko did an admirable job as converted left-backs last season, but neither has convinced this term, with Delph’s performance against Leicester on Wednesday highlighting City’s weakness in the area.

Firpo, first linked with City in September, could be the answer and give Pep Guardiola a second natural left-back to boost his squad in the summer.

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