Premier League • England

Transfer happening ‘soon’ – Leeds namechecked amid explanation why Arsenal target is coming

Chelsea's Thiago Silva with Golden Ball award, with silver winner Dudu (centre) and bronze winner Danilo after the FIFA Club World Cup Final match at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Leeds United were namechecked when a journalist explained why highly-rated Arsenal target Danilo will soon be on the move.

The 20-year-old defensive midfielder has been earning rave reviews in his homeland after starring in his defensive midfield role. Indeed, he has become one of the first names on the Palmeiras team-sheet since signing on loan from PFC Cajazeiras in 2018.

That stay was made permanent in 2020 – and he’s since gone on to make nearly 100 appearances in all competitions.

During that time he has managed six goals and five assists. However, it’s his workrate, reading of the game and tenacity in the tackle that has really earmarked him as a genuine star of the future.

Indeed, British audiences were recently given a glimpse into his talents when he played against Chelsea in the FIFA Club World Cup final last month.

He caught the eye with a fine display, earning an award for the third best player of the mini tournament.

That alerted Arsenal who were reported to be in concrete talks over a future transfer. Other interested parties include Benfica and Italian pair Juventus and AC Milan.

The bargain fee of £13.4m was reported as being required to seal a deal. At that price, Danilo would be worth a gamble even though he is yet to test himself in European football.

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And the fact he has not yet played in Europe has led to a fresh update regarding his future.

Speaking to UOL, Brazilian journalist Luis Agusto Simon recently claimed Danilo “will soon be sold to Europe”. Key to that declaration was the fact Danilo has persistently been overlooked for the Brazil squads selected by Tite.

The journalist claims Tite has a bias towards European-based players, and namechecked Leeds as a club Danilo could join to further his international ambitions. If Raphinha’s rapid rise onto the international stage since moving to Elland Road is anything to go by, he may have a point.

Joining Leeds a “passport” to the World Cup for Danilo

“Even the vultures of the Zoo know that Danilo will soon be sold to Europe,” said the journalist, also known as Menon.

“And that he will continue, there, doing what he does here: a vigorous football, technical and presence in various sectors of the field. He is not a midfielder; he is an all-rounder.

“And what difference does it make to Danilo going to Europe today or a few months from now? It shouldn’t make any difference. Staying here might even be better, with the possibility of winning the Libertadores for the third time in a row.

“But going there, even if to Getafe, Sassuolo or Leeds, would be the passport to play in the Cup. It would be in Europe, which is what matters to Tite.

“But isn’t it up to the selector to predict the future? To understand that such a player will play well over there? That he already plays well here? Not for Tite.

“He prefers a decadent player in Europe (Arthur Melo) than a rising player in South America. And they are not different positions, no.

“Danilo may very well have the ball outlet and the arrival to the attack that Arthur hasn’t had for a long time. And Fred hasn’t either.”

READ MORE: ‘Unique’ star sparks transfer scramble with Leeds, Man Utd and Arsenal all involved