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Another Major Transfer Setback as Arsenal Pulls out of Race for Brazilian Midfielder, Replacement Identified

Arthur Melo, Arsenal, Juventus

Arsenal have been hunting for a midfield signing throughout the winter window. With just days left in the transfer window, Gooners across the world have been handed a second successive disappointment in the span of days. After losing Dusan Vlahovic to Juventus, it appears that Arsenal will also be unable to procure the services of Arthur Melo.

Arsenal have consistently been linked with a move for the out-of-favour midfielder over the past 2 months. The Gunners seemed to have made healthy progress in the deal over the past week. Mikel Arteta’s side needed the Brazilian’s services for only six months and planned to look for new signings in the summer transfer window.

Arthur Melo, Arsenal, Juventus
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Juventus were only willing to let Arthur Melo leave if Arsenal agreed to a loan deal for 18 months, with an option to buy at the end of that period. Edu and his entourage gave in to the demands of the Italian club, and a move seemed imminent.

Edu and Juventus sporting director Federico Cherubini had reached an agreement for the Brazilian’s move. Arthur was to leave on a loan until June 2023. At the end of this stipulated period, the Gunners would have an option to make the move permanent in exchange for £33.5million.

However, a stunning turn of events seems to have left the North Londoners red-faced. The Athletic reports that the move seems unlikely to occur. The report details that when Edu proposed the transfer, the Arsenal hierarchy vetoed the move as it was “too risky”.

This will come as a massive disappointment for the Arsenal technical director, who had prioritised a move for Arthur Melo, only for weeks of negotiations and discussions with Juventus to amount to nothing. Arthur himself will also be dismayed that the deal has collapsed. The Brazilian has received little game-time since his move from Barcelona in 2020. Arthur was optimistic about a move to North London after productive meetings between his agent Federico Pastorello and club representatives.

With the transfer window culminating on Monday, it is hard to see new signings arrive at the Emirates in this window. Mikel Arteta will have to be content with his present options to last him until the end of the season. Thomas Partey has returned from the AFCON Cup and is available for selection along with Albert Sambi Lokonga and Granit Xhaka. A move for Bruno Guimaraes also seems unlikely given Newcastle United’s emerging interest in the Brazilian.

Renato Sanches, Arsenal
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Nevertheless, Arsenal have wasted no time in identifying a replacement transfer. Lille’s Renato Sanches is being targeted and is touted as a long-term signing in the middle of the park. The Portuguese midfielder has specifically called out the Gunners’ interest in acquiring his services in the past. Speaking to L’Equipe (via Mirror), Sanches noted:

“Who is interested in me? Maybe Milan and Arsenal are interested, but I don’t know. I talked to my agent, I know which clubs are calling and which are not, but now I can’t tell. But I know I’m ready. If it happens, I’ll see what’s best for me.”

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Arsenal could also consider a move for Manchester United target Denis Zakaria. AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie is also a potential option.

Another possible option could be Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz. A move for the Brazilian hinges on whether Steven Gerrard’s side can secure the signing of Rodrigo Bentancur. Mikel Arteta has worked with Douglas Luiz in the past during his time at Manchester City. Luiz has a contract with Aston Villa up to 2023 and may present a reasonable and feasible transfer for Edu.

Is Douglas Luiz a good signing for Arsenal? Or should the Gunners dedicate maximum effort to bring in Renato Sanches? Are there any other midfielders you think Edu could bring in? Let us know in the comments.

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Adithya Ravi
Football enthusiast. Stat enthusiast

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