Arthur Melo is ignoring the attempts of Juventus to give him a bigger role and now has his heart set on a move to main suitors Arsenal, according to reports in Italy.
Midfield is the main area Arsenal need to reinforce in the January transfer window. They are currently without Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny due to the African Cup of Nations (although Partey’s Ghana have been eliminated). What’s more, they have allowed Ainsley Maitland-Niles to leave the club on loan.
It has left Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga as their only senior options in central midfield. Xhaka’s discipline issues mean he isn’t always available, either.
Although Arsenal have many positions to address, midfield is the one that therefore requires the immediate focus. And their top target is Arthur.
The Brazil international joined Juventus from Barcelona in 2020 as part of an exchange with Miralem Pjanic. Unfortunately, the swap hasn’t really worked out for either party.
Pjanic has already left Barcelona, on loan for Besiktas, and now Arthur could be leaving Juventus as well.
He only managed 22 appearances in his debut Serie A season. This time around, he has just eight league appearances (including only four starts) to his name so far.
Therefore, he has been considering his future. Aware of this, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri restored him to the starting lineup for their Coppa Italia win over Sampdoria on Tuesday.
However, Gazzetta Dello Sport report that Allegri’s attempts to keep Arthur in Turin are not paying off. Instead, the 25-year-old is eager to “pack his bags” to seal a switch to Arsenal.
Arthur has supposedly been “flattered” by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and believes the move to the Premier League could help his chances of representing Brazil at the World Cup later this year.
Juventus disagree over Arthur transfer terms
But he will be relying on the two clubs to come to an agreement, which is still some way off.
Gazzetta Dello Sport claim there is a difference over what Arsenal and Juventus believe is the best method for the move.
Arsenal would rather take Arthur on a six-month loan until the end of the season. But Juventus would only agree to it if they included an obligation to buy.
If Arsenal do not want to commit to that, Juventus would prefer them to take Arthur on a longer-term loan for 18 months.
His contract with them still runs until 2025.
Arsenal facing another midfielder exit
Arsenal’s midfield evolution could continue in the summer, when Xhaka looks likely to attract interest again.
Xhaka is back on the radar of Jose Mourinho at Roma as he appears unsettled at Arsenal following their summer transfer decision, reports in Italy claim.
Mourinho made Xhaka his first target for Roma after being appointed in the Italian capital in May. He wanted to sign the midfielder before Euro 2020, but they couldn’t do the deal in time.
Xhaka went on to impress for Switzerland in the competition, perhaps changing Arsenal’s outlook on the player. Indeed, they held firm to their asking price for the remainder of the summer and tied him down to a new contract.
The decision split opinion and Xhaka’s form ever since will have only heightened questions. Discipline issues have come into focus again, for example.
Now, the 29-year-old is being linked with a transfer away from Arsenal again. It would not be until the summer, due to how depleted the club currently are in midfield, but it could be something being worked on.
According to Corriere Dello Sport, Roma have reignited their interest in a transfer for Xhaka.
Mourinho has still been chasing midfield reinforcements for his new club. This month, he signed the 29-year-old Sergio Oliviera from Porto. After his impressive debut, the coach said he wanted more players like the experienced star.
Xhaka is also of that calibre and Mourinho has not forgotten his admiration of him. Therefore, Corriere Dello Sport claim Roma could try again in the summer.
And they believe Xhaka is unhappy to have stayed in north London and would run to Rome if Mourinho came calling again.
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