Premier League • England

Arteta ‘likes’ Liverpool flop as Arsenal consider shock swap deal by offloading ‘very good’ star

Ben Stewart
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Juventus star Arthur Melo

This would be a surprising move

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly a big fan of a former Liverpool flop and the idea of a potential swap deal for him has been floated.

The Gunners came agonisingly close to winning the Premier League last season but ended up losing out to Manchester City on the final day of the campaign.

With Arteta keen to improve his side ahead of next season, the Gunners are being linked with plenty of high-profile names ahead of next season.

It’s no secret that Arteta wants to improve his attacking options and the likes of Nico Williams and Victor Osimhen are continuing to be linked with the club.

Along with bolstering their attacking options, the Gunners are also looking to add some much-needed depth to their midfield.

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With Thomas Partey looking increasingly likely to leave the club this summer, Arsenal have also been linked with a plethora of holding midfielders.

Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi has been tracked by Arsenal for some time now, but Arteta also has his eyes on an alternative option.

Arteta likes Juventus star

According to reports in Italy, Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo is a player who Arteta ‘likes a lot’. While the Brazilian struggled for fitness during his loan spell with Liverpool, he impressed last season for Fiorentina.

Melo’s agent, Federico Pastorello, was quick to praise his client back in January after leaving his injury troubles behind.

“I am very happy for Arthur,” Pastorello told reporters. “Last year was a difficult season for him from all points of view. He landed at Liverpool at the end of the transfer window, thus missing the preparation, he then suffered a major injury.

“Fiorentina were good at seeing the opportunity. Juventus had to cover part of the salary to revive him and today Arthur is maybe the best player in the league.”

Melo himself has been pleased with the progress he has made while on loan with Fiorentina, describing his current physical state as ‘phenomenal’.

“I feel really good, phenomenal,” Arthur told reporters last month.

“This is the best moment of my career. Physically, it’s been the season that I’ve played the most minutes in over all these years. Also with much more experience under my belt after having played in several leagues and teams.

“It’s a mix, mentally and in terms of maturity, I feel phenomenal.”

Swap deal on the cards?

It’s been well-documented that Jakub Kiwior could leave Arsenal this summer and Juventus are among the clubs interested in the Polish international.

Tutto Juve have since claimed that a potential swap deal involving Kiwior and Melo could be on the cards this summer, with both players being deemed to be worth a similar value.

Back in April, Arteta described Kiwior’s impact as ‘very good’ but the Spanish boss seems prepared to sanction his exit this summer.

Along with Juventus, AC Milan have also been keeping tabs on the versatile defender and could make a move for him this summer.

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