Arsenal Have Moved A Significant Step Closer To Signing Juventus Midfielder Arthur Melo

The Gunners hope to snap up Arthur, who is out of favour under manager Massimiliano Allegri in Italy, on loan until the end of the season, with their serious interest emerging on Wednesday.

Mirror Football understands that the Brazilian is now keen to seal the deal as quickly as possible, having spoken to Arteta and been convinced on factors such Arsenal’s style of play.

But the Bianconeri will only allow Arthur to leave Turin if Allegri and co can bring in a replacement, with Chelsea ‘s Ruben Loftus-Cheek supposedly a target for the Serie A side.

The playmaker, who possesses an eye for a pass that would be welcome for the Gunners’ fluid attack, joined Barcelona from native outfit Gremio for £27.9million in June 2018.

After two solid seasons at the Camp Nou, lifting the La Liga title in his first, Arthur made the move to Juventus as Miralem Pjanic went in the opposite direction.

It was then when former Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen, who played with Arteta at the Emirates, heaped praise on him.

“Arthur is a good player and of course, he needs more games to adapt to the club and style,” Vermaelen stated in October 2018, quoted by Football Espana.

“But, his start has been incredible, he has all the battling skills and the technical ability to go right to the top.”

Having struggled for game-time and being handed just 11 starts this term, agent Federico Pastorello said last month: “Keeping a player of this level on the bench is a shame.

“For January we can’t exclude anything: there’s interest from La Liga clubs, but also from Premier League and Serie A.”

The Gunners have been on the hunt for midfield reinforcements in January, having had their reserves in that department almost drained of late.

After losing Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny due to their international commitments at the Africa Cup of Nations, Emile Smith Rowe and Granit Xhaka both missed Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest through a knock and a positive coronavirus test, respectively.

As it stands, Martin Odegaard and Albert Sambi Lokonga would be the only senior middle men available for their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool on Thursday, as 18-year-old starlet Charlie Patino filled in alongside the duo last time out.

Arteta has been fairly open about transfer business this month and told reporters ahead of the trip to Nottingham: “With the amount of things and the way we want to evolve the squad, we have to maximise every window in many different ways.

“We are alert. [Technical director] Edu and his team are working very hard because we know exactly what we need to do. Whether we can accomplish that in January or in the summer is a different question related to other stuff but we are there.

“If it is the right player and we can afford it and we can do what we want to do, we will discuss it and make the best possible decision. We are open.

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