According to the latest reports, Arsenal are edging closer to reaching a deal for Arthur Melo, having made a major breakthrough in the negotiations with Juventus.
Arsenal’s relentless search for midfield reinforcements has reaped no fruit yet. A move for Bruno Guimaraes has been ruled out in the winter window. The inability of Arsenal to meet the terms laid down by Juventus stalled the negotiations for Arthur.
A frustrating 0-0 draw at home to Burnley further highlighted the need for new signings. Lokonga struggled as a lone pivot as the Gunners failed to control the midfield against a resilient opposition. Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey missed out on the game, while Mohamed Elneny is still with the Egypt team in the AFCON Cup. Mikel Arteta also laid down that Arsenal are looking to bring new players into the team.
Arsenal manager Arteta: “The market is difficult, it's complicated. New signings? Yes, we are certainly trying. I don't know if we'll be able to do it, but let's see”. ⚪️🔴 #AFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 23, 2022
Now, according to Italian news outlet Tuttosport (via Metro), Arsenal have made headway in the negotiations for Arthur. Earlier, reports suggested that the Gunners were only looking for a six-month loan option. Juventus wanted to include an obligation to buy, or an 18-month loan spell, a condition that the North London side have agreed to.
The ex-Barcelona man has been included in the squad for the game against AC Milan. The game could act as a farewell appearance for Arthur, whose form and fitness have prevented him from establishing himself as a regular in the side. If the reports are true, Arsenal have about a week’s time to finalize the deal and complete the transfer.
And the Gunners have done all that they can to take the deal across the line. Not only have they agreed to a compromise in the terms of the deal, but Arsenal have also reportedly reached an agreement over personal terms with the player himself. The Brazilian has grown frustrated with his lack of game-time at Turin and has expressed his desire to leave the club.
More on Arthur Melo deal. After meeting between his agent and Arsenal today, Juventus asked for 18 months loan plus buy option to let Arthur leave 🇧🇷 #AFC
Arsenal have only offered a straight loan until end of the current season. Player keen on the move – but nothing agreed yet.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 19, 2022
This leaves Juventus as the catalysts in the transfer. As things stand, Arthur himself will be unable to leave unless Juventus find a replacement transfer. The 2020 Serie A Champions have been linked to a host of names – Frenkie de Jong, Bruno Guimaraes, Denis Zakaria, Aurelien Tchouameni among others.
Meanwhile, another blow was delivered to Arsenal, by Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri. The Italian, via The Mirror, expressed his desire to retain the Brazilian:
“The team is this and it will remain like this. Let’s not forget that Arthur has come back from six months of inactivity, he needed to find time and he’s now performing well. Arthur’s talent is not in dispute, he needs certain players by his side. Arthur’s part of Brazil’s national team, he’s an important player.”
Football Italia reckons that the Brazilian is slowly finding his feet in Italy. The 25-year-old has earned more minutes in recent weeks and earned Allegri’s trust. Furthermore, the inconvenience caused by his departure could force Juventus to carefully ponder letting him leave.
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Little progress in signing a new player makes 25-year-old’s departure seem ever more unlikely. However, a week still remains in the transfer window and the Gunners could hope for a change in the scenario in the coming days. However, it would be wise for Arsenal to line up a few contingency options for Arthur in case a deal fails to materialise. Short on time, it would be unwise for Arsenal to put all their eggs into the same basket.
Boubacar Kamara, Aurelien Tchouameni and Oscar Trejo are three players the Gunners could consider. The former especially is an enticing option. Kamara will be a free agent in June, which could tempt Marseille to make a sale in this window. The Frenchman could be a quality long-term investment, as he can play the role of a defensive midfielder, ball-winning midfielder or centre-back.
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