Gimenez in action during this season’s Europa League final

Real Madrid have leapfrogged Arsenal in the race for Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez and are ready to active his £53 million release clause.

The Uruguay international has been on the Gunners’ radar for a number of months as they search for a new centre-back.

Arsenal scouts had identified the 23-year-old as a viable target and a formal offer was expected this summer.

But now, according to Marca, Real Madrid have jumped in front of them and are leading the race for Gimenez.

The European champions are ready to raid their city rivals for the defender by meeting his £53 million release clause in full.

The disappointment of failing to land the Atletico star could be softened by bringing in another top defender from a European club.

According to the Independent, the Gunners look set to sing Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos  for just £16 million.