Football writer Charles Watts has outlined a new blow in Arsenal’s attempts to sign Arthur Melo on loan this January.
It has been widely reported that the Gunners are interested in signing the Juventus midfielder on loan for the rest of the season. However, with the transfer market quickly heading towards its end, no deal has yet to be agreed.
One of the key issues in the potential move seems to be Juve’s lack of willingness to let the player depart unless they have a replacement already lined up.
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He said: “People that I speak to over in Italy who know Juventus very well, have always sort of stuck to the same track and that’s that they need to sign a replacement for them to let Arthur go.
“At the moment, we’re hearing that Bentancur is being linked with Aston Villa. I mean, if he goes there, then what does that mean for Arsenal trying to get Arthur?
“Would Juventus be willing to let two midfielders go in the window? They’re struggling to let one go at the moment, so we’ll have to wait and see on that one.”
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According to the BBC, Villa have recently made an approach for Juventus midfielder Bentancur, with manager Steven Gerrard looking to strengthen his squad for the second half of the season.
If that deal is to happen, it would surely have a negative impact upon Arthur’s possible move to Arsenal, just as Watts suggests. One thing that could work in Arsenal’s favour, however, is the fact that the Brazilian has been in and out of the team this season, unlike Bentancur – who has only missed four league games all year.
Indeed, Arthur has played in just nine of Juve’s possible 23 league games so far this term, which suggests that if a replacement is needed for him, they would likely only have to be a squad option, as opposed to a first-team mainstay.
With both Arsenal and Villa chasing Juventus midfielders, it will be interesting to see who can land their man and whether or not one deal will affect the other.