Premier League giants Manchester City and Arsenal have reportedly entered the race to sign Newcastle and Crystal Palace defensive target Junior Firpo.


The Real Betis full back is the highest scoring defender of 2018 in La Liga and has been catching the eye of a number of top clubs across Europe. 

Real Betis Balompie v RC Celta de Vigo - La Liga

Newcastle and Palace both had scouts watching the young Spaniard when he scored the only goal of the game in his side's 1-0 win over Real Socieded on Sunday. 


They may however be thwarted in their pursuit of Firpo, as the ​Sun have now reported that Arsenal and Man City look to have entered the race for the Spanish Under-21 international. 


Firpo has three goals this season in 16 games and has scored as many as five goals from open play since his debut for Betis in February. 


His most notable contribution though came when he scored in his sides brilliant 4-3 win over ​Barcelona at the Nou Camp earlier in the campaign. 

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-BETIS

Despite his eye catching form bringing these links with top Premier League clubs he is refusing to take notice of the rumours surrounding his future, and instead just wants to focus on performing on the pitch for his club. 


He said: "I've heard about interest from other clubs for certain. I've told my agents not to tell me anything during the season.


"Nothing can be done until the transfer window opens. But ideally I will hear something on January 1."

Real Betis Balompie v RC Celta de Vigo - La Liga

Born in the Dominican Republic, Firpo moved to Spain aged six and moved to Betis from lower league side Puerto Malagueno in 2015. He has also recently signed a new deal with the Seville-based club until 2023, which contains a £45m release clause. 


It may not take a bid of that value to convince Betis to let him leave for England but with ​Arsenal and ​Man City keen on signing him, it looks like Rafael Benitez and Roy Hodgson will have their work cut out if they are to convince Firpo to turn down two of the ​Premier League's top four sides.