Arsenal close in on Zezinho

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is close to luring highly-rated youngster Zezinho - also linked with Liverpool -  to the Emirates Stadium after the Brazilian conceded he has played his last game for Juventude.

The 17-year-old spent last summer on trial with the Gunners and previously revealed his dream of playing for a big European club amid interest from the Londoners.

Zezinho was part of the Brazil side that won the South American 17 Championships earlier this year and has been labelled as one of the hottest prospects outside Europe.

Premier League rivals Liverpool have also been tipped to sign the playmaker, but Wenger’s side appear to be favourites for his signature and are reportedly lining up a £5 million bid.

The Gunners are believed to have had bids of £1.5m and £2.75m rejected from the Brazilian outfit.

However, Zezinho is adamant he will not be at his current club for much longer.

“My time at Juventude ended on Saturday,” he said.

“Until now, I thought that I would continue in the Gaucho, but my agent said that it is impossible.

“He told me that Arsenal will submit a new offer to Juventude – the third in a year, it seems – and this time it will be solved.

“I don’t know about any other interested team. The only proposal is from Arsenal, the others were for trials.”

Zezinho – who turns 18 in March – would not be available to play competitively for the Gunners until next season but could train with Wenger’s side before then.

Juventude were reportedly asking for £7m but could settle for a deal closer to the £5m mark to ease the club’s debts.

“I don’t know about the price. I can only say that Juventude will receive 70 percent, I’ll receive 20 percent and my agent 10 percent,” he added.