Arsenal face three way battle for 25m January midfield addition

The Gunners are top of the Premier League, but could need reinforcements in January

Arsenal are facing stiff competition should they wish to land Palmeiras talent Danilo this January, with reports claiming that they are one of three sides targeting a move for the 20-year-old midfielder after the World Cup.

The Gunners are sitting atop the Premier League table, and will remain there until at least New Years Eve thanks to their five point lead over Manchester City, but there are concerns that they may need reinforcements in January.

Danilo, who plays primarily as a defensive midfielder, has been on Arsenal’s radar for the last 12 months, and a switch has been rumoured since last January, while the rumours resurfaced in the summer but the Brazilian side were unwilling to let him depart midway through their domestic campaign.

Now, as per ESPN, he is free to leave, and will be available for as little as 24m euros (£20.7m) this winter. However, Arsenal will face competition from both AS Monaco and Ajax, both of which have a strong reputation for developing talent and could offer the midfielder more regular game time than the Gunners.

“Palmeiras own 80% of the player’s rights and sources suggest they are seeking €20m for Danilo. His boyhood club Cajazeiras own the other 20% but there is said to be confidence fee for their part could be negotiated, making the overall fee lower than €24m”, claims the report.

Danilo himself was quick to distance himself from speculation around a potential move, though admitted he was ready to move on.

“I see myself mature enough to play in any competition in the world, I’m ready”, the Brazilian told UOL Esporte. “But I prefer not to get involved with these transfer issues. I told my manager to only talk to me if it is a sure thing.”

Speaking after Arsenal’s shock third-round Carabao Cup exit to Brighton at the Emirates Stadium meanwhile, Arteta admitted that his side were short in places, and that January could be an opportunity to strengthen.

“It’s the same squad as when we win. I said from day one that we have a short squad because at the end we left some players”, he explained. “It’s what we have.”

“If everyone’s available and no one is injured we are okay, but the moment there is, we know what it is. It’s nothing new. I think I said it the first day after the transfer window.”

Questioned on the January opportunities, the Gunners boss added: “That’s a window that is open and we’ll have to discuss the opportunities that we have, the capacity that we have for any changes and be on the market for opportunities because we don’t know what’s going to happen the last game before the World Cup.”

“So it’s a lot of options that are open.”

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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