Arsenal board ‘refuse £34m Arthur Melo deal’ despite Edu’s agreement with Juventus

Arteta gives update on Arsenal's transfer plans ahead of Deadline Day

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Arsenal’s board reportedly turned down the opportunity to sign Arthur Melo on an 18-month loan deal, despite transfer chief Edu being agreed with his Juventus counterpart, Federico Cherubini, over the structure of a potential deal. The Gunners’ hierarchy are believed to have preferred a short-term solution, which leaves their hunt for a midfielder hanging in the balanc as we approach Monday’s transfer deadline. 

Manager Mikel Arteta is seemingly keen to bring in more bodies after a recent squad shortage disrupted their schedule. 

This month, Ainsley-Maitland Niles sealed a loan exit to Roma, while a host of players, including midfielders Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey, jetted off to compete at the Africa Cup of Nations. 

Martin Odegaard’s positive Covid test pushed their squad to its absolute limit, and they faced backlash for postponing a hotly-anticipated north London derby. 

A loan deal for Juventus’ Arthur Melo was therefore touted to help bolster Arteta’s options. 

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Although links between Arthur and the Emirates were gathering pace, Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri poured cold water over the situation by dismissing rumours of an exit. 

“This is our team and we’re not going to change anything,” insisted the Italian, “Arthur’s part of the Brazil national team, he’s an important player.”

While Gunners fans may have simply thought the deal was never that likely, a report from The Athletic suggests that they came much closer to completing the deal than first suspected. 

Edu and Cherubini were reportedly aligned over an 18-month loan deal which included a £34million option to buy. 

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Edu then presented that idea to the Arsenal hierarchy, only for it to be slapped down due to being deemed too high risk. 

Supposedly, the Gunners favoured a short-term arrangement in case the player failed to have the desired impact in north London. 

The decision will likely have come as a blow to Arteta, who is said to be keen on the player, and may have been even more pleased with the prospect of securing the Brazilian until the end of the season, and possibly beyond. 

It would have also seen the Gunners take a sizable chunk out of the mammoth £72.5m fee paid by Juve when they signed him from Barcelona in 2020. 

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Arthur has played just 29 league games for the Bianconeri in one-and-a-half seasons, notching one goal. 

And while things have not exactly worked out for him in Turin, particularly relative to his whopping price-tag, prospects of an exit this month now look bleak. 

It has been a frustrating January window for Arsenal, with Juventus also playing a starring role in another saga as the Gunners saw prolific marksman Dusan Vlahovic opt for the Serie A giants. 

With a matter of days left and a break from domestic action, however, things could certainly heat up over the remainder of the window. 

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