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Arsenal report: Arthur Melo could be confirmed in hours – but Juventus want one condition

(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal are edging closer to tying up a loan deal for Juventus star Arthur Melo.

The Brazilian is the Gunners' first-choice midfielder this window, with Mikel Arteta wanting to bring in someone secure in possession in deeper areas and someone experienced enough to slot in alongside the younger Albert Sambi Lokonga.

The Gunners currently have both Thomas Partey and Mohammed Elneny away representing Ghana and Egypt respectively at the Africa Cup of Nations, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles has gone on loan to Roma. Granit Xhaka last night received his second red card of the season against Liverpool in the League Cup semi-final and will miss the next three matches with a suspension. 

That leaves Arsenal's midfield down to just Lokonga and 19-year-old Charlie Patino, who has two senior appearances to his name in a red and white shirt – hence Arthur becoming a priority in the coming hours. 

But Juventus are refusing to let the former Barcelona star leave Turin until they have sourced a replacement. Chelsea star Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been touted for a move.

The Old Lady were holding out for an option or obligation on the loan deal but it seems as if they will instead let the midfielder move to the Emirates Stadium without either – with Arsenal simply paying 100% of the player's wages as a compromise. 

Since arriving on the continent from Gremio in his native Brazil in 2018, the 25-year-old has shown flashes of brilliance but struggled with the physicality of the European game. He was purchased by Juventus in 2020 in a deal that saw Miralem Pjanic move in the opposite direction but has failed to hold down a regular spot in the Gunners line-up.

Arthur is valued at £22.5m on Transfermarkt.

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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.