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Spurs or Arsenal: Which North London side is more likely to sign this £70m central defender?

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Cristian Romero Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Spurs

Spurs and Arsenal are both looking to strengthen their defensive unit before the 24/25 season begins and as per Football Transfers[h/t Football 365], both the North London sides are interested in Forest defender Murillo.

Nottingham Forest signed the centre-back from Corinthians last summer for a fee of around £11 million but they are willing to part ways with him after just one full season. However, they are very much aware of Arsenal and Tottenham’s interest in the defender which is why they have slapped a price tag of around £60-70 million.

Murillo played in 32 Premier League games during his first season in England and as per Fotmob, he has a rating of 6.78 out of 10. He was dribbled past just 14 times in the league and he won more than 60% of tackles. The 21-year-old made as many as 146 recovery runs and won almost 50% of his duels.

These are pretty impressive numbers for a youngster who has moved out of his homeland for the first time in his life but Forest are definitely going to test Spurs’ and Arsenal’s resilience with such a steep price tag.

Will Spurs be able to beat Arsenal in this transfer race?

Spurs are losing Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga as both of them are departing on free transfers this summer so Ange Postecoglou will need to bring in fresh defensive reinforcements and someone like Murillo can be the ideal backup to the likes of Micky van de Ven and Radu Dragusin.

And while Arsenal are also keen on signing the Forest defender we think, he will have a much better chance to shine at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium instead of the Emirates Stadium.

If Champions League football is not a priority for Murillo then he will want to join Spurs because Ange is going to bring in several fresh faces this summer so there’s a major possibility that he will reshuffle his starting lineup next season. Van de Ven has cemented his place in Ange’s side but that second centre-back role might still be up for grabs.

William Saliba and Gabriel own the two centre-back positions in Arsenal’s first XI and unless he massively impresses Mikel Arteta in training, Murillo will mostly be a bench-warmer for the Gunners.

Having said all this, it’s really hard to look over the £60-70 million asking price that Nottingham Forest have set.

Both Spurs and Arsenal are looking to bring in a central defender who is going to back up their primary stars and there’s no way either of them will be ready to pay such a premium price.

Murillo’s contract with Forest expires in 2028 so Forest have every right to ask for such a crazy fee but unless they lower their demands significantly, both Arsenal and Spurs will back promptly off and activate their other plans.