Benfica are currently in pole position ahead of Arsenal to sign Athletico Paranaense midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, according to the club’s president.
Guimaraes has reportedly been on the Gunners’ radar for some time after impressing with his Brazilian employers last season, making 33 appearances in all competitions.
The 22-year-old has previously been linked with the likes of Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, although according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, Benfica are now seriously interested in signing the player.
The source says that the club have offered €20m for Guimaraes but the midfielder reportedly has a €40m release clause in his current deal.
Speaking to O Jogo, Athletico’s president, Mario Celso Petraglia, revealed all about Benfica’s offer and also confirmed that Arsenal’s interest in Guimaraes is currently on the back burner.
“Yes it’s true. Yesterday came the official offer from Benfica to sign Bruno Guimaraes,” he said.
“Let’s study Benfica’s offer. On Monday we will meet the club board to assess this situation.
“Arsenal are interested, but will only make an offer towards the end of the season.”
Arsenal have suffered defensive issues this term and a new addition at the back is said to be one of boss Mikel Arteta’s priorities for the January transfer window.
According to The Sun, the Gunners could look to remedy their problems at the back by offering a loan deal for Stones.
It is claimed that the England international is keen to cement his spot at Euro 2020 but fears that an inconsistent record of game time will not look good with the likes of Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez and Tyrone Mings performing well.