Premier League • England

Arsenal in talks over £44m Brazilian striker deal as Edu swoop for Liverpool target hits brick wall

Edu, the Arsenal sporting director, at the All Or Nothing: Arsenal premier for Amazon Prime TV

Edu, the Arsenal sporting director

Arsenal are in discussions over a deal to sign Fluminense striker Matheus Reis with Edu trying to negotiate on the Brazilian’s £44m exit clause, according to a report.

Mikel Arteta’s side have once again made a solid start to the Premier League campaign, and sit second with just one defeat their name – the controversial 1-0 loss at Newcastle, so far. As such, hopes are growing that Arsenal could end their 20-year wait for title glory, having narrowly been pipped to the title by all-conquering Manchester City.

To aid their cause, Arteta and Edu oversaw a huge £200m summer spree aimed at further bolstering their ranks.

And while Declan Rice has made a huge impact, the jury remains out on David Raya and Kai Havertz, while Jurrien Timber suffered what appears a season-ending ACL tear on his debut.

Furthermore, there is still a strong belief that Arsenal lack the quality options in attack needed to sustain their push for Premier League supremacy.

With that in mind, the Gunners are exploring a possible January raid to bring in Brentford striker Ivan Toney, who is regarded as one of the most prolific around. And while the 27-year-old will not be that sharp having served a lengthy ban for breaching betting regulations, a scramble to secure his services is well and truly underway.

That chase also involves both Chelsea and Tottenham, both of whom need a new striker themselves.

Carrying a £70m asking price, reports lately have suggested Toney could spurn all approaches and ultimately stay loyal to the Bees.

As a result, Arsenal are reportedly considering other attacking options with Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic also seemingly a target.

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Arsenal stumble across possibility of signing Matheus Reis

Prising Vlahovic away from Juve, however, will also set them back a hefty fee. And after a disappointing spell in Turin, there remains doubts over whether the towering Serb can rekindle his best form in the Premier League.

However, it seems the Gunners may well have found a solution to their issues in the form of Fluminense’s teenage star Matheus Reis – and it seems Edu may have stumbled across the possibility of signing him almost by accident.

That’s after reports from Calciomercato claim Arsenal only found out about the possibility of signing him during enquiries for the Brazilian side’s star midfielder Andre.

The 22-year-old DM is seen as one of the gem’s of the Brazilian game, having recently helped Fluminense to Copa Libertadores glory.

And with a €35m exit clause in his deal, a scramble to secure his services has ensued, with Liverpool first leading the way for the one-time capped Brazil international.

Sadly for both Arsenal and Liverpool, the pair appear to have been beaten to the punch by Fulham, who now look set to tie up Andre’s signature.

However, it was during Edu’s enquiries for Andre that Calciomercato claims Fluminense president also made them aware about the possibility of signing teenage striker Reis.

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The 16-year-old has a hefty €50m (£44m) exit clause and is rated as one of the brighest young prospects in South America.

Now Calciomercato claims Arsenal, having done their research on him, are looking to prise the striker away from Brazil.

Understandably, Edu does feel the current asking price is a little on the steep side and the Gunners sporting director is trying to negotiate a deal on significantly reduced terms.

But with competition already high for Reis  – Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United have also been linked – it remains unlikely Fluminense will want to reduce his fee too significantly.

In the meantime, the Gunners are also hoping to bring in a new midfielder to play alongside Rice. And they will have to weigh up the total costs involved against what they perceive as their biggest need before officially entering the market.

Either way, former Arsenal and Man Utd defender Mikael Silvestre, speaking to GGRecon, feels the Gunners would benefit enormously from adding a new striker to their ranks.

“Right now you have Eddie Nketiah at the club alongside Gabriel Jesus, but signing a third striker could present them with a luxury that could be useful at this level, especially when you consider the amount of games that Arsenal could potentially play this season,” he said.

So far this season, Nketiah has five goals from 16 appearances; Jesus, meanwhile, has four notches from 11 outings.

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