Ex-Arsenal man could have handed Gunners major boost in bid to sign Real Madrid star

Julio Baptista

In urging Cruzeiro teammate Lucas Silva to join Real Madrid, ex-Arsenal man Julio Baptista could help the Gunners land Los Blancos midfielder Sami Khedira.

Former Arsenal and Real Madrid man Julio Baptista could end up doing Arsene Wenger’s side a huge favour in the transfer marekt, after urging his teammate Lucas Silva to join the Spanish giants.

Silva, 21, has starred alongside Baptista at childhood club Cruzeiro for the past season, and has since been linked to a host of top European teams, including Barcelona, Inter Milan and Manchester United.

Valued at around £12 million, Real are also understood to be lining up a winter bid for the Brazilian midfielder, in a move which would then deem reported Gunners target Sami Khedira free to leave for the Premier League.

‘It would be a wise move,’ Baptista told MARCA. ‘The first day I saw him I knew he was a player that would turn heads and I told him so. He's a two touch player, a quality that would fit right in in Spain or the Premier League. In Brazil, players hog the ball, but Lucas plays it quickly.

‘He is ready to make the giant leap to Europe and into a big club like Madrid, but he needs time to settle, because it's not an easy club,’ he added. ‘But in terms of footballing ability, there's no doubt he'd fit in very nicely at Real Madrid. He's a player brimming with talent.’

Arsenal could face some serious competition for Khedira’s signature if he was allowed to leave the Bernabeu, however, with Premier League rivals Chelsea also reported to be monitoring the German World Cup-winner, despite their plethora of midfield options.

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