The search for midfielders has taken Edu Gaspar and Arsenal to Brazil where they have identified two potential long-term solutions to their midfield problem.
The North London club has also lost Ainsley Maitland-Niles who has gone to AS Roma in the Serie A on loan for the rest of the season, further thinning their midfield. They also saw their bid for Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho fail as the former Liverpool man chose to move to Aston Villa for the rest of the season to reunite with his former teammate Steven Gerrard.
Head coach Mikel Arteta admitted that Maitland-Niles’ departure means that Arsenal will have to double up their efforts to find midfielders who will fit their style for the rest of the season.
“We are very, very short at the moment,” Arteta said to journalists on Friday. “We are going to move and look for options because we are very short there.
“If it’s the right player, we can afford and we can do what we want to do, we will discuss it and come to the best possible decision. We are open.”
Here is the latest news from Arsenal’s efforts to find the best midfield talents to strengthen their squad ahead of a busy January window.
Arthur Melo approach considered by Arsenal to Juventus
The 14-time FA Cup champions have discussed the potential loan signing of out-of-favour Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo according to reports.
Arthur Melo moved to Juventus in 2020 from Barcelona in a swap deal that saw Miralem Pjanic move to Camp Nou. Neither move has worked out for both clubs, but Barcelona have managed to find a temporary solution for Pjanic by sending him to Besiktas in Turkey on loan.
Arthur, meanwhile, is in limbo at Juventus where manager Massimiliano Allegri only uses him when his hands are forced. The former Gremio talent has failed to impress in Europe since after his first season at Barcelona.
Juventus now want to cut their losses on the 25-year-old and have put him on the market. He has attracted quite a few suitors, with Arsenal being one of them.
Transfer insider Fabrizio Romano reports that Arsenal’s technical director, Edu Gaspar, is considering a loan move for Arthur in order to provide Mikel Arteta with enough options in the midfield in this crucial time of the season.
The Golden Premier League trophy holders are yet to reach out to Juventus, however, as the discussions are still being held. Reports on Arsenal’s decision will be made available in the coming days.
Arsenal target 20-year-old Brazilian Serie A star who plays for Palmeiras
Another young Brazilian could be making his first forays into Europe like Gabriel Martinelli, according to reports.
Danilo, 20, is a midfielder that is attracting a lot of attention from sides in the top five European leagues and Arsenal is reported to be one of those sides.
Brazilian outlet R7 claims that Edu has presented a €20 million bid to Palmeiras for Danilo who has been noted to have similarities with Thomas Partey who Arsenal will be without in the coming weeks.
Sources in the Arsenal camp claim that Danilo is seen as a long term successor to Granit Xhaka who could be leaving the Emirates at the expiration of his contract in 2024. However, he is also very raw and will need some working on before he is fully ready to take on the rigour of a top-five European League and possibly, European competitions as Arsenal are on course to make it back into either the Champions League or the Europa League next season.
His club, Palmeiras, is also one of the richer Brazilian clubs and this could stand in the way of his transfer to Arsenal as a €20 million bid could be deemed unimpressive by the club.
Three other names on Arsenal’s radar
Fabrizio Romano also claims that Arsenal are monitoring three other midfield options for a January transfer.
Olympique Lyonnais’ Bruno Guimaraes – another Brazilian – has been a long time target of Edu’s but it is reported that a deal for the midfielder could be unlikely as Lyon are demanding £40 million for his transfer.
In recent weeks, the Gunners have also been tipped to move for Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria who is also being monitored by the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Liverpool.
The Gunners are also monitoring another Serie A player in Empoli’s 20-year-old ace Samuele Ricci, who has been dubbed “little Jorginho”.