Arsenal are leading the race to sign out-of-favour Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo in the January transfer window.
According to Calciomercato, Juventus are prepared to offload Arthur Melo in January, preferably on a temporary basis. His new agent Federico Pastorello is already looking for potential suitors for the talented midfielder, with Premier League side Arsenal emerging as the most likely destination.
Formerly of Barcelona, Arthur has endured a difficult time at Juventus since joining the club in the summer of 2020. The midfielder could only muster 13 starts in Serie A during his debut season in Italy. He struggled with form and fitness as Juventus missed out on the league title, leading to the departure of Andrea Pirlo.
Arthur’s status in the first team has further dwindled under the leadership of new coach Massimiliano Allegri. The Brazilian has featured in just over 200 minutes of league action, falling behind Rodrigo Bentancur and Manuel Locatelli in the pecking order.
His struggles have forced Juventus to consider offloading the 25-year-old in January, with the player notably being offered to Everton recently as part of the deal to sign Lucas Digne. The Frenchman, though, fancies a move to Chelsea instead, which means Juve may have to find other avenues to get rid of their fringe midfielder.
This is where Arsenal could come into the fray, as they are reportedly desperate for midfield reinforcements in January. Their coach Mikel Arteta, in particular, is not happy with the team’s lack of depth in the middle of the park. There are also concerns over the future of Mohamed Elneny amid interest from Newcastle United.
While the Gunners have been linked with a move for Franck Kessie, they are expected to face stiff competition from Tottenham and Manchester United. Arthur, to that end, could prove to be an exciting alternative who can offer technical brilliance in the middle of the park. It could be particularly useful as Arsenal brace themselves for life without Thomas Partey, who is set to miss a chunk of early 2022 due to AFCON.
However, Arsenal may find it difficult to negotiate a permanent deal with Juventus regarding the services of Arthur. The Bianconeri are well aware of the player’s potential and might not be all too keen on adding a buyout clause, should they allow the midfielder to join the Gunners on a loan deal in January.
The North London giants have no shortage of alternatives, though, with Arthur’s Juventus teammate and the club’s prodigal son Aaron Ramsey linked with a return. The Welshman himself will be keen on making a comeback to the Emirates after two difficult years in Turin. So it will be interesting to see how Arsenal’s pursuit of a new midfielder takes shape in this upcoming January transfer window.