Arsenal chief Edu ‘to chase £86m transfer in January’ after enquiry

Mikel Arteta reviews Arsenal's Premier League win over Aston Villa

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Arsenal director Edu will resume his efforts to land Palmeiras midfielder Danilo when the transfer window re-opens in January, according to reports. The Gunners were said to have been keen on a summer move for the 21-year-old, who has also been scouted by several major European clubs over the last few years.

Arsenal stepped up their attempts to land a new midfielder on deadline day, with Edu seeing a trio of bids for Aston Villa playmaker Douglas Luiz rejected by the west Midlands outfit. They also enquired about the availability of Danilo but were quickly knocked back by Palmeiras, who were in no mood to sell their prized asset before Thursday’s cut-off point, according to the Evening Standard.

It is claimed that Palmeiras would be open to doing a deal with Arsenal in January, but the Gunners could be forced to meet Danilo’s release clause of around £86million in order to bring him to the Emirates Stadium. It is expected that other sides from Europe may also make formal offers during the winter, though, which suggests that Arsenal will face stiff competition from elsewhere in the battle to land the midfielder.

Arsenal may also decide to return to the table for Luiz when the bidding re-opens at the turn of the year after they were denied a deadline-day swoop for the 24-year-old in spite of their best efforts. The Villa man will be out of contract at the end of the season as things stand, with the upcoming January window set to represent his club’s best chance of receiving a fee in exchange for his services.

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It seems unlikely that Luiz will be tempted to extend his stay at Villa Park in the near future after being denied the chance to join Arsenal before the close of play on Thursday. He reportedly pushed hard for the move after learning of Mikel Arteta’s interest in snapping him up but was eventually made to remain with his current club in spite of his desire to leave.

The Arsenal boss, meanwhile, admitted that he was in the market for a new midfielder after Wednesday’s victory over Aston Villa, in which Luiz scored directly from a corner to equalise for the visitors before Gabriel Martinelli’s winning goal.

“[Mohamed Elneny’s injury] has an impact because also Thomas [Partey] is injured, and we are a bit short in that position,” Arteta told reporters.

“We have Sambi [Lokonga], players like Granit [Xhaka] can play there, but we are looking at options in the market. The club has been super supportive to try to keep improving the team and the squad as we can. If the right player is there and we can do it, we will try.”

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