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Tavares wants to be at Arsenal, says he has a ‘strong mentality’

Portuguese defender Nuno Tavares says he wants to stay with Arsenal next season amid suggestions that he could leave on a free transfer.

The left-back signed for the Gunners from Benfica in 2021 but had a disappointing debut season where he was prone to defensive errors.

Tavares was loaned to Marseille for the 2022/23 campaign. He was subsequently sent out on another loan to Nottingham Forest last summer.

Forest had an option to purchase him as part of the deal, but the Premier League outfit opted against it due to his minimal impact during the whole season.

Tavares will now report for pre-season training with Arsenal. When asked about his future by Record (page 24), the left-back said he is keen to stay.

“Yes, obviously, I have in mind to return to Arsenal and have a good pre-season,” Tavares said.

“Regardless of what happens in the future, I will always do my best, as I have done in all pre-seasons, to have a place at the club.

“I always try to do my work in the best way. Then it’s up to the club to decide whether I’m a valid option or not.”

“But I have a strong mentality. I know what I’m capable of. Sometimes things don’t depend on us, but my job is to focus on myself and do what I do best.”

Tavares is unlikely to be with Arsenal next season

Tavares’ current deal with the Gunners expires next summer, but the club have the option to extend his stay for another 12 months.

Despite the clause, Arsenal will likely consider selling him this summer so they can secure a decent transfer fee without selling pressure.

Lazio and Ajax are reportedly interested in the 24-year-old and the Gunners will be hoping to recoup the £6.8 million fee spent on him.

Oleksandr Zinchenko, Jakub Kiwior, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Jurrien Timber are among the regular options at left-back.

The Gunners are about to sign Riccardo Calafiori from Bologna, who is widely expected to become the first-choice left-back role next term.

Arsenal also have Kieran Tierney on their books, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Looking at the huge competition, Tavares could be on his way out. Arsenal could omit him from their pre-season tour of the United States to sort out a summer exit.

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