The Telegraph reports this morning that Arsenal are stepping up their interest in Ruben de la Red, whose progress we have apparently been tracking. There are no quotes or any firm information whatsoever in the article, so whats more likely is that his agent is seeing whether any of the Premier League clubs want to make an offer.
Apart from having a good name, he is 23 years old, was in the Spain squad for Euro 2008 and is said to cost about £9.5m. His chances at Real Madrid are thought to be limited this season, especially after Van de Vaarts arrival in Madrid this week.
I vaguely recall watching him play for Spain this Summer and he seemed to do ok. I think he played in the Spain v Greece game and scored, but I won't pretend I know anything else about him. However, Wikipedia (that ever-so reliable research tool) reports that he was a playmaker on loan for Getafe last season, but had to make a comedy appearance at centre back in a UEFA cup game against Bayern Munich, which lasted 6 minutes until he was red carded. I have therefore taken an immediate liking to him.
More seriously, the fact alone that he will cost a relatively reasonable fee and is young makes this rumour look more plausible for a Wenger signing than the over-priced and over-rated Alonso or Barry. However, I wouldn't expect much to happen quickly, especially given our recent habit of deadline day signings.