MARSEILLE are reportedly working on a loan deal for Arsenal left-back Nuno Tavares with an option to buy.
The 22-year-old is facing an uncertain future at the Emirates after displaying defensive frailties in his one season at the club.
L’Equipe report that the Ligue 1 team have made Tavares a “priority transfer target”.
New boss Igor Tudor sets up with wing-back crucial to his plans and as a result, the Portuguese defender is the “preferred left-sided option”.
Mikel Arteta is said to be open to letting the youngster seek valuable first team experience.
And reports claim that Arsenal’s hierarchy have discussed sending him out on loan to aid his development.
But Marseille want the option to make the deal permanent.
President Pablo Longoria is working on a Tavares move after a successful William Saliba loan spell at the French club.
Tavares only joined the Gunners for £8million from Benfica last July.
Tavares endured an up-and-down first season with the North London giants.
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Tavares made 28 total appearances for Arsenal last season, scoring once and adding two assists.
Although he looked reasonably dangerous going forward, he was found out at the back.
He was embarrassingly hauled off at half-time in a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.
Earlier in the season, Emmanuel Petit told SunSport that Arsenal looked weaker when Tavares was in the team.
The Gunners dip in form towards coincided with first-choice full-backs Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu unavailable.
Petit said: “With all the respect I have for Cedric Soares and Nuno Tavares, they are not on the same level as Tomiyasu or Tierney.
“The relationship between Tavares and [Gabriel] Martinelli and Cedric and [Bukayo] Saka on the opposite side, it’s not working.”
“We’ve seen when Arsenal don’t play with Tomiyasu or Tierney, they struggle.”