Premier League • England

Man Utd reason cited why Arsenal can complete Arthur Melo coup, as talks ‘head in the right direction’

Steve Pearson
Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo celebrating with Cristiano Ronaldo

An unconvincing Manchester United star may inadvertently help Arsenal to sign Arthur Melo this month, though Juventus are not making it easy despite positive talks with the player’s agent, per reports.

Arsenal are on the hunt for additions to their midfield ranks this month. Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are away at AFCON (though Partey’s Ghana are now eliminated), and Granit Xhaka again showed he cannot be trusted when picking up yet another red card against Liverpool last week.

Albert Sambi Lokonga is being eased into life in England, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles was loaned out to Roma. As such, a plethora of targets have been linked with the Gunners, most notably Arthur Melo.

The Brazilian, 25, is reportedly on board with the idea of moving to Arsenal on loan. The Gunners have initiated talks with regarding the deal, with today’s Paper Talk shedding light on Edu’s meeting with Arthur’s agent Federico Pastorello.

Juventus are reportedly willing to sanction the move, though would prefer an 18-month loan, rather than the six.

The Daily Express add their take to the story, noting (via Sky Italy), that Arsenal have only offered a straight six-month loan thus far (with no option to buy). From Juventus’ perspective, a short-loan is only suitable if an option to buy is included.

Furthermore, Juve are only willing to play ball if they first sign an adequate replacement. While Arthur is not in Max Allegri’s plans at present, no club wishes to be caught short with Covid still rife.

Nonetheless, an agreement remains in the best interests of both teams. And Sky Sports’ Kavek Solhekol provided a positive update on Thursday evening. Speaking on the Transfer Window Show, Solhekol stated the “Arthur Melo deal to Arsenal is heading in the right direction.”

Man Utd star in Arthur crosshairs

While a deal clearly still has work left to do, Sky Sports have revealed one of the driving factors behind the potential move.

When speaking to their South American expert, Tim Vickery, it was noted Arthur’s international ambitions are fuelling his desire to leave Turin.

The World Cup in Qatar is now only 10 months away. Arthur reportedly stands a genuine chance of usurping Man Utd’s Fred in the starting eleven – if he impresses in 2022.

Arthur agent spotted at Arsenal training ground ahead of loan move from Juventus

Arthur will leave Juventus for Arsenal this January if Arsenal are willing to take the player on 18 month loan

“Arthur Melo has gone a little bit off the rails but he would be very well suited to Arsenal under Mikel Arteta,” said Vickery.

“He understands his position and he’s also got Edu their as sporting director which will help him fit in.

“The second position in midfield for Brazil is up for grabs. At the moment it is being occupied by Fred. Arthur hasn’t played for the national side since 2019. But he will feel he could get back into the team in a World Cup year.

“If Brazil could have someone there with a little bit more to offer, opportunity would certainly knock for Arthur if he were to move to Arsenal.”

D’Margio Wright-Phillips the latest in a soccer dynasty to rival the Maldinis, Alonsos and Kluiverts

Arsenal striker in Aston Villa’s sights

Arsenal strike duo Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard has held ‘conversations’ about upgrading his striker corps. Furthermore, a report has revealed Aston Villa are mulling a raid for Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah.

According to the Birmingham Mail (citing the Athletic), the comings and goings are far from over at Villa Park this month

The outlet state adding a new centre-back and defensive midfielder are Gerrard’s ‘priorities’ this month. However, ‘conversations’ have also been held regarding a new burst of firepower.

As such, Villa are continuing their trend of targeting Premier League-ready players by ‘considering’ a move for Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah. The 22-year-old’s deal in north London runs out in the summer. That means he is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs right now.

A move within the Premier League appears far more likely, however. Brighton and Crystal Palace have been linked but progress on both fronts has stalled. Mikel Arteta has publicly stated he expects to keep Nketiah for the remainder of his contract.

However, the offer of hard cash this month could yet prompt a U-turn. And with Arsenal hot on the heels of Dusan Vlahovic, an Nketiah exit would free up both funds and squad space for the free-scoring Serbian.

At present, any potential deal appears very much in its infancy. However, should an agreement be struck over the next 11 days, Villa’s Cameron Archer could then make way. The Birmingham Mail state the 20-year-old is attracting widespread interest from a number of Championship clubs eyeing a loan move.

READ MORE: ‘Four-year deal ready’ with Arsenal transfer to hold sway over Dusan Vlahovic fate