Premier League • England

Juventus demand gives Arsenal big decision on two starters, as Chelsea prepare Arthur Melo swap hijack

Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo

An Arsenal move for Arthur Melo is being complicated by their insistence on who is included in the swap, with Chelsea now prepared to axe a star of their own to hijack a move, per reports.

The Brazilian midfielder, 25, has heavily linked with a move to the Emirates in January. Arsenal were – and still are – seeking midfield reinforcements. Talks over an Arthur Melo switch were held, though the deal fell through amid disagreements over the length of an initial loan spell.

Indeed, Arsenal reportedly favoured a six-month stint. Juventus preferred an 18-month loan.

Regardless, the Gunners still remain interested in acquiring the 22-times capped Brazil international. That’s according to CalcioMercato, though a deal is once again far from straightforward.

The report is relayed by the Express who note Juventus are insisting Arsenal include one of Gabriel Magalhaes or Gabriel Martinelli in a swap deal.

Both those players are regular starters under Mikel Arteta and either of their inclusions would solve an issue in midfield, but create a new problem at either centre-back or left wing.

Juventus value Arthur highly despite the fact he was not a guaranteed starter last year under Max Allegri.

It’s claimed they’re seeking a package worth at least €35-€40m (£29.95-£34.2m) to let their midfielder go. That explains why two of Arsenal’s most prized assets are being talked about in the potential swap.

If Arsenal refuse to include either Gabriel or Martinelli in the deal, a straight cash offer may be required. Other alternatives in the position include Leicester’s Youri Tielemans.

Chelsea mulling swap of their own

Regardless, Arsenal’s decision may be made for them anyway after a second report from CalcioMercato put Chelsea in the mix.

They stated the Blues are interested in a swap of their own that would see Timo Werner move to Turin. The German arrived for £47.5m in 2020, though has struggled to replicate the scoring form he showed with RB Leipzig.

Timo Werner defending for Chelsea

His inclusion could twist Juventus’ arm with the report noting Allegri is keen to add a new striker this window.

Paulo Dybala is due to leave as a free agent, while there are doubts over the futures of Alvaro Morata and Moise Kean.

Arsenal’s decision on Arthur Melo is obvious

If it becomes clear a deal rests on the inclusion of one of the Gabriels, Arsenal must dismiss the move.

Both Magalhaes and Martinelli are key components in Arteta’s squad already. What’s more, the fact they are both on the rise would suggest their true market value may already be higher than Arthur’s anyway.

Arsenal have other irons in the fire in midfield too, with Tielemans a top target. The latest on the Leicester ace’s future can be found here.

Alternatively, a Chelsea swap involving Werner would make more sense – providing Thomas Tuchel has plans in place for a new striker.

Talk of a Romelu Lukaku return to Inter Milan is ramping up. If the Belgian departs, Chelsea can only afford to axe Werner too if a new face is signed first.