Arsenal are exploring a deal for Palmeiras midfielder Danilo as Mikel Arteta tries to add depth


Arsenal are exploring a deal for Palmeiras midfielder Danilo as Mikel Arteta tries to add depth with Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny both out injured… with the Gunners valuing the Brazilian at around £18m

  • Arsenal are keen on a move for midfielder Danilo before the window closes
  • Mikel Arteta is keen to strengthen his midfield options following several injuries  
  • Palmeiras’ 21-year-old star is valued at around £18m by the Gunners

Arsenal have explored accelerating their interest in long-term target Danilo to ease the club’s midfield crisis.

Mikel Arteta’s side are short of numbers in central midfield, Granit Xhaka and Albert Lokongo – who both started in the win over Aston Villa – currently the club’s only recognised pairing in that position.

Indeed, speaking after the win over Steven Gerrard’s team Arteta, who raised concerns that injured midfield duo Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny could be long-term absentees, said: ‘The injuries have an impact (on the transfer window). Suddenly we are short in that position, we are looking at options in the market.

‘If the right player is available we will try to do it.’

Mikel Arteta is keen to add another midfielder before the transfer window closes on Thursday

Mikel Arteta is keen to add another midfielder before the transfer window closes on Thursday

On Elneny’s knee injury, Arteta said: ‘That’s not good news, he still needs to see another specialist but I’m afraid we won’t have Mo for a while.’

Arteta added on Partey’s thigh complaint: ‘He is going to be out for a while, I don’t know how long that period is going to be – it’s not the first injury he has had in that area.’

There is some optimism, though, that Partey’s problem isn’t serious.

The club did not anticipate making a move to sign the 21-year-old during the current transfer window, but is very much viewed as a ‘project signing’.

Mohamed Elneny is among the Arsenal players unavailable for selection through injury

Mohamed Elneny is among the Arsenal players unavailable for selection through injury

However, the Gunners have considered bringing forward their interest in Danilo due to the current concerns over their midfield.

Sources are indicating that striking an agreement with Palmeiras, who are not under any pressure to sell, is difficult because the Brazilian club don’t want to lose their midfielder during this window and the obvious time constraints given the window closes tomorrow night.

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Nevertheless, there is a willingness from Arsenal to sign Danilo, for the right price, before the market closes on Thursday – though as it stands no formal offer has been made.

Yet even if a deal for Danilo does not come to fruition this summer, Arsenal will continue to monitor the South American closely ahead of a future bid.

If an agreement for the Brazilian cannot be reached, then Arsenal remain in the market for a midfielder, with Shakthar Donetsk player Mykhailo Mudryk offered to the club.

However, a late move for Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans, who is interesting Newcastle, looks unlikely.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with the Belgium international but sources have indicated that the club have only carried a loose interest in Tielemans over the summer.

Arsenal moving for Youri Tielemans before the end of the window is considered unlikely

Arsenal moving for Youri Tielemans before the end of the window is considered unlikely

If there are no more incomings at Arsenal, which is a growing possibility, then Arteta is said to be satisfied with his squad.

Arsenal’s interest in moving for Danilo earlier than planned comes amid concerns over a hamstring problem suffered by Mohamed Elneny ahead of tonight’s visit of struggling Villa.

The Egyptian is being assessed but there is hope he is facing weeks, rather months on the sidelines.

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Similarly, Thomas Partey is already set to miss tonight’s game with a thigh strain, though there is hope the Ghana international will not be a long-term absentee.

Summer signing from Oleksandr Zinchenko can play in midfield and is ready to return to the squad after missing Saturday’s win over Fulham with a slight knee issue but has not been deemed fit enough to play against Villa.

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