A Brazil midfielder has directly addressed rumours linking him with a transfer to Arsenal later this year.
Mikel Arteta, along with technical director Edu Gaspar, appears to be on the hunt for midfield reinforcements. That is despite Albert Sambi Lokonga’s summer move from Anderlecht.
22-year-old Lokonga is yet to make a significant impact and has failed to appear in Arsenal’s last four Premier League games.
Arteta tends to rely on the experienced duo of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. However, the latter will be unavailable for several matches as he is representing Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The club’s midfield options have recently gotten weaker, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles joining Roma on loan. And with Mohamed Elneny set to leave the Emirates when his contract expires this summer, it’s no surprise midfielders are being linked.
ESPN journalist Julien Laurens claims the Gunners want Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz. But he is not the only Brazilian on their wish list.
Arsenal are admirers of Lyon ace Bruno Guimaraes, who is a vital part of the French club. He has been present in all but one of their Ligue 1 matches this term.
The 24-year-old impressed at the Tokyo Olympics as Brazil took home gold. And he reckons that triumph is one of the reasons Arsenal are sniffing around.
“It’s normal, even more in the window period,” Guimaraes said (via Sport Witness).
“When you’re an Olympic champion, you have a good season individually, you’re called up to the national team… it’s normal things in football. I don’t even like to think too much.”
Guimaraes then revealed how he distances himself from the rumours – by relying on his entourage. “I leave it more to my agents, for them to solve,” the star added. “My objective is to take Lyon to the place where they deserve. We’re in the round of 16 of the Europa League, it’s a title that Lyon don’t have. Let’s fight hard to try to conquer it.”
‘We will talk’ – Player makes new contract admission
On a potential new contract, the Rio-born player continued: “The club is going through a moment of change with the board. I had a conversation when Juninho was the director. It was something very fast.
“At the right time, we will talk, settle down. But at the moment, the full focus is on moving Lyon up the table. We have difficult games ahead.”
Lyon spent £18m to sign Guimaraes from Brazilian outfit Athletico Paranaense in 2020. He has gone on to make 69 appearances in all competitions, scoring three times.