Premier League • England

Edu to abandon Arsenal chase for Aston Villa star as source names Brazilian as No 1 Gunners target

Danilo celebrates winning the Copa Libertadores with the trophy after Palmeira beat Flamengo at Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay

Arsenal are unlikely to go back in for Douglas Luiz in the January transfer window with the Gunners reportedly willing to spend big on another Brazilian midfielder instead.

The Gunners have made a solid start to the season, winning their first five before suffering a defeat at Manchester United on Sunday. That loss – their first defeat of the season – has not dampened the feel-good factor around the club too much. And Arsenal still sit on top of the fledgling Premier League table with six games played.

Arsenal brought in five new players over the summer window, spending in excess of £118m. The most costly of these has been Gabriel Jesus, with the Brazilian hitting the ground running with three goals and three assists in six appearances. To that end, his £46.98m signing looks money well spent.

He was not the only Brazilian to sign either. Edu also shelled out a bargain £3.15m fee to sign winger Marquinhos from Sao Paulo.

Despite their promising start, the one addition to elude Mikel Arteta was a new midfielder. The Gunners boss wanted an extra body brought in to provide cover and competition for Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny.

Arsenal also have Albert Sambi Lokonga in their pool but he may have been allowed to leave on loan. Indeed, an exit for the Belgian may well have been granted had the Gunners managed to land a new midfielder of their own.

To that end, Arsenal were heavily linked with Leicester City star Youri Tielemans throughout the summer.

As it went, the Gunners never followed up on their initial offer and it was actually Aston Villa star Luiz who was the subject of their attention on deadline day.

Arsenal keen to sign Danilo in January

Luiz becomes a free agent next summer, leaving Villa vulnerable to a cut-price exit. As such, Arsenal made a bid of around £20m for his services on deadline day.

Despite his contract situation, however, Villa resisted Arsenal’s approach. And amid claims they were seeking a fee nearer to the £40m mark, boss Steven Gerrard was quick to explain why approach fell short.

Reports claim Arsenal will consider a fresh approach for Luiz in January. By then, the Brazilian will have just six months remaining on his deal should an extension not have been agreed.

However, Edu is now reported to have struck the Villa man off his wanted list. Instead, Saturday’s Transfer Gossip explained why a move for Palmeiras star Danilo was more likely.

Danilo, a tough-tackling midfielder, has an exit clause worth £85.8m. But the feeling is that Palmeiras will sell for far lower in January.

That stance is also backed up by transfer expert Dean Jones.

He claims Arsenal are readying a new approach for the Palmeiras star having seen a summer offer fail.

“I think we can expect Arsenal to maintain their interest in Danilo,” Jones told GiveMeSport. “They had set him as a top tier target heading into the summer window.

“There was a temptation to try for him because of their situation. But he’s a young player in Brazil and they are content that they will lead the way for him next year anyway.”

Palmeiras man will be an astute signing for Arsenal

Danilo may be only 21 years of age, but he has already clocked up close to 130 appearances for Palmeiras. And the midfielder has already tasted success with the club, helping them beat Flamengo in an all-Brazilian Copa Libertadores final in November.

A fierce tackler withb a keen eye for a pass, Danilo is reportedly close to breaking into the Brazil squad.

And while the 2022 World Cup will surely come too soon, the player looks a certainty for future international recognition.

A move into the Premier League with Arsenal will certainly raise his profile.

The good news for Arsenal is that Edu has already seemingly done the ground work over this deal. To that end, the Gunners will hope to agree a fee for his services relatively easily.

And Danilo should also have no issues settling in at Emirates Stadium. Arsenal have a strong Brazilian contigent at the club. As well as Jesus and Marquinhos, they are also have Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli.

READ MORE: Paul Merson tears into Mikel Arteta over man Utd gaffe and picks out difference maker