Arsenal in talks to sign Benfica's Nuno Tavares as backup option - sources

Arsenal are in talks to sign Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares, sources have told ESPN.

The 21-year-old is viewed as a back-up option for Kieran Tierney, who agreed a new five-year contract with the club last week.

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Benfica value Tavares at around €12 million but Arsenal are confident of doing a deal for less with the player keen on a move to the Premier League.

Negotiations are continuing for Tavares, who made 24 appearances for Benfica last season including a five-minute substitute outing against Arsenal in the second leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie in February.

Tavares is viewed as an attack-minded full-back who can make a positive impact in the final third in a similar mould to two other left-backs that the club looked at signing in January: Ryan Bertrand and Patrick van Aanholt.

Both Bertrand and Van Aanholt will become free agents next week when their contracts expire at Southampton and Crystal Palace respectively.

Bertrand is closing in on a move to Leicester City while Van Aanholt has been linked with Galatasaray. Both players are seeking a chance to compete for regular first-team football but Tavares is younger and willing to wait for his opportunity.

Arsenal need to strengthen cover in the left-back position with Sead Kolasinac deemed surplus to requirements having returned from a loan at Schalke and midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has previously deputised as a left wing-back, also likely to leave the club.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have rejected a second offer from Aston Villa for Emile Smith Rowe. The bid was believed to £30m -- a £5m increase on their first attempt -- and dismissed out of hand by Arsenal, who remain in talks to extend the 20-year-old's contract.