Arsenal’s hopes of completing Arthur Melo’s loan signing from Juventus hinge on the Serie A club’s ability to find a replacement, according to talkSPORT.
Talks started last week over the Brazilian’s arrival in the Emirates and the Gunners have now intensified their interest.
The 25-year-old has been identified as a suitable solution to Arsenal’s midfielder’s problems, with Granit Xhaka’s expulsion against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup raising serious questions.
Arthur signed for the old lady from Barcelona in June 2020, but he only played for his team 29 times.
Joining as part of a swap deal for Miralem Pjanic, Arthur drew the Italian squad following a stellar campaign with Barcelona in which he was qualified by then-boss Quique Setien, an “extraordinary” player who “understands everything”.
However, an early 18-month lead, injuries and the competition for a place in Juventus’ starting XI kept him from really hitting the ground while running.
With Arthur not getting enough playing time at the Allianz Stadium, guaranteed football at Arsenal might be suitable for all parties.
However, sources on talkSPORT understand that Juventus are reluctant to let the midfielder leave without a replacement in place.
One of the candidates Juve are looking at is Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has impressed in his limited minutes under Thomas Tuchel but has no guarantee of consistent playing time.
Speaking on White and Jordan, talkSPORT transfer insider Alex Crook explained: “A very present player for Arsenal is Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo.
“I understand that the face to face talks between the Juventus board and the player are due for today as he looks to move to the Premier League.
“He is a player who was once compared by Lionel Messi to Barcelona legend Xavi.
“He got lost in Turin a bit. Juventus are still reluctant to let him go without a replacement, with one possible replacement being Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
“It’s a deal that Arsenal really hope they can make.”
Mikel Arteta is desperate to strengthen his side’s midfield options this window after being forced to play youngsters Charlie Patino and Albert Sambi Lokonga in their 1-0 FA Cup loss to Nottingham Forest.
The Gunners are particularly light on staff playing in the middle of the park, with the current international duties of Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny at the Africa Cup of Nations weakening the Arsenal squad.
Emile Smith Rowe and Granit Xhaka were both absent from the FA Cup match due to the former suffering from a strained groin and the latter testing positive for Covid-19.
Xhaka will now be out for an extended period after returning to the Gunners roster against Liverpool before quickly landing his second red card of the season.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles has also been cleared to join AS Roma and as a result Martin Odegaard and Albert Sambi Lokonga are the only senior midfielders available for the Gunners.
Speaking after Friday’s loss, the Arsenal boss said: “We are going to move and we are going to look for options because we are very short there.”
Arsenal have also been linked with Yves Bissouma of Brighton and Danilo of Palmeiras.
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