Bayern Munich have made contact with the representatives of Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Nunez over a potential January move for the Everton target, according to Goal.
The Toffees and Arsenal are reportedly considering January pursuits for the one-time Spain international (Daily Mail), but could now face competition from the Bundesliga Champions after Niko Kovac suffered a spate of injuries in defence.
Bayern Munich are involved in a fierce fight to defend the Bundesliga title, with Borussia Monchengladbach, VfL Wolfsburg, Dortmund, RB Leipzig, SC Freiburg, FC Schalke 04, Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen also starting the 2019/20 campaign with signs of promise.
Kovac’s Allianz Arena natives have been stung by a string of injuries in defence, though, with Niklas Sule likely out for the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Augsburg, and Lucas Hernandez tearing ankle ligaments against Olympiacos in the Champions League in the last week (per Goal).
Jerome Boateng is now Die Roten’s only fit recognised centre-half, with the versatile trio of Javi Martinez, Benjamin Pavard and David Alaba set to offer Kovac support in the coming months.
Bayern could look to ease the pressure on Kovac by making moves in the January window to acquire a new central defender, and Goal understand that talks have been held with the representatives of Bilbao’s Nunez.
Football agent Giovanni Branchini is believed to have discussed a move to Germany with the defender immediately after Hernandez’s blow, with Nunez a player Die Roten have monitored for a long time.
Nunez has a €30million (£25.9m) release clause in his contract at San Mames, and a decision by Bayern’s hierarchy over a winter pursuit is expected in the coming weeks.
Bayern have often worked with Branchini as a mediator for transfers.
Everton failed to add a centre-half to Marco Silva’s ranks this summer, when their hopes of retaining Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma were denied by Frank Lampard (Metro), and a later request for Fikayo Tomori on loan was rejected after David Luiz moved to Arsenal (Football Insider).
The Toffees are now said to be weighing up defensive reinforcements in the winter window (Liverpool Echo), and a move for Nunez would add a highly-rated international (Daily Mail) to the ranks at Goodison Park.
The promise of regular football could prove to be pivotal for whoever makes efforts to sign the Spaniard, though, as losing his place in Gaizka Garitano’s plans to Inigo Martinez is said to have made the 22-year-old consider his future at San Mames (AS).
Nunez had started Bilbao’s opening two La Liga fixtures this season before returning to the XI against CD Leganes, in which he won possession with his sole attempted tackle, made three interceptions, 18 clearances, five blocks, and 161 passes, per WhoScored data.
He has not featured since facing Leganes on September 25, ahead of Bilbao’s Saturday night encounter with Atletico Madrid.
Everton fans, should Marcel Brands make efforts to sign Nunez in case Bayern step up their advances? Let us know in the comments below…
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