Arsenal reportedly sent scouts to Estadio do Dragao on Sunday for Porto’s encounter with Moreirense to monitor Andre Silva and Danilo Pereira.
According to Portuguese paper Record (h/t Sport Witness), Arsenal had their scouts in attendance in the North of Portugal to watch in-form striker Andre Silva and influential midfielder Danilo Pereira in action, with the duo being long-term targets for the North London club.
Andre Silva has emerged as one of the most highly rated young strikers in Europe this season, scoring bags of goals for Porto all through the campaign. Rising through the ranks at the Portuguese giants, Silva has established himself as a first choice striker under Nuno Espirito Santo this season.
The 21-year-old also made his long-awaited debut for Portugal last year, and is now one of the go-to men for Fernando Santos. Silva has scored four goals in five appearances for A Selecao, including his first international hat-trick, and the fastest treble hit by anyone for Portugal – in just 25 minutes.
On Sunday, Porto ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Moreirense, with Silva scoring one as well. That was the striker’s 11th goal in 17 league games this season, a measure of just how prolific the youngster has been for the Dragoes, and just why he has also sparked interest from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.
Danilo, on the other hand, joined Porto from fellow Portuguese club Maritimo in 2015, and has become a key figure for the side. Since then, has made a name for himself in the national side as well, and was a key member for Fernando Santos at the Euro 2016.
Sitting just ahead of the back four, the 25-year-old midfielder provides cover to the defence, and is known for his aggressive and sharp reactions to the dangers presented by the opposition attack, with many also regarding Danilo as Porto’s best player this season, alongside Silva.
The report suggests that Porto have placed hefty release clauses on both players with Andre Silva worth €60m, whilst Danilo’s release clause costs €40m. With Arsene Wenger having a history of being reluctant to splurging a lot of cash in the transfer market, it remains to be seen whether Arsenal will bid for the duo.
However, it is clear that both will offer different sets of qualities that might not be readily available at the Emirates Stadium as of now. Silva possesses remarkable link up play qualities, and can easily run in behind most defences with his clever change of pace, something that playmaker Mesut Ozil will appreciate.
Danilo, on the other hand, is just the player to rival Francis Coquelin for a place as the team’s defensive midfielder, with his physicality and eye for danger. And so, it will be interesting to see if Arsenal make a move for the players whose progress they have monitored for a long time now.