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Premier League • England

Failed Arsenal move explained as report claims January transfer target ‘had his bags packed’

Arthur Juventus

A report has claimed Arthur Melo ‘had his bags packed’ ahead of a January transfer to Arsenal, while also explaining why the move fell through.

Juventus were looking to offload the central midfielder so they could add Denis Zakaria to their squad. They did manage to sign the Switzerland international from Gladbach, but Arthur’s exit was not completed before the January deadline.

Reports on January 23 claimed the Gunners had made a breakthrough in pursuit of 25-year-old Arthur. They were willing to take him on loan for 18 months, prior to a permanent transfer going through.

Despite this promising update, Arsenal were not able to announce the 21-cap Brazil international to their supporters. In fact, they did not add any senior players to Mikel Arteta’s squad during the winter.

Sport Witness, who cite Italian source Calciomercato, provide an insight into the failed transfer.

They claim Arthur ‘had his bags packed’ and was ready to move to the Emirates. It would have been his first stint in the Premier League.

He knew Zakaria was coming into Max Allegri’s midfield and was hoping to engineer a transfer to get regular game time elsewhere.

Arsenal a ‘concrete option’ for Arthur Melo

Arthur’s links with Arsenal were more than just a rumour, as it was a ‘concrete option’ – according to the report.

But Arsenal did not complete the capture as they failed to meet Juve’s demands. The Italian giants wanted a permanent solution right away, which the North London outfit would not adhere to.

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The Gunners wanted a loan to assess Arthur’s suitability in the squad before spending money on the playmaker.

A transfer could yet materialise in the summer, although both sides will need to compromise slightly to get the deal over the line.

Arsenal star talks Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang exit

Meanwhile, Gabriel Magalhaes has opened up on the exit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and pointed the finger of blame at the coaching staff in the process.

“Aubameyang is in my heart, we all wanted him at Arsenal,” said Gabriel.

“It (his exit) is something that happened between him and the coaching staff, the other players were not involved in it.

“I said goodbye to him before he left. I hope he enjoys Barcelona. He is a nice person with a big heart and I love him very much.”

Aubameyang has already found the net five times in six matches since moving to the Spanish giants.

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