The Brazilian defensive midfielder was reportedly close to agreeing a contract with the Gunners, choosing to leave Spartak Moscow after two-and-a-half years in Russia.
The 24-year-old was keen on leaving Russia to overcome his homesickness, and a loan move back to Brazil was said to be on the cards. Both Flamengo and Internacional had held talks over taking him on a short-term deal, but, with the move being delayed, the Brazilian press reported that the Gunners had jumped to the front of the queue with a deal set to be agreed by Monday.
The North London club were said to be the only side to present Spartak with a concrete offer, and the initial report in lancenet suggested that the Russian club would be more willing to do business with a side active in the market. The reported Monday deadline was to speed up the deal, and it was expected that Romulo would be confirmed as an Arsenal player by the close of the day.
However, no confirmation came, and the owner of Spartak Moscow, Leonid Fedun, has today denied that Romulo will be leaving. Speaking to Russian media outlet Tass, Fedun claimed that the eight-capped international is currently on a three-year contract, and he will not be sold.
“At the moment, Romulo is on a three-year contract,” the owner said.
“No one is going to sell him.”
With the apparent closeness of the deal, it was expected that he would be transferring to Arsenal over the January window as competition for an increasingly weak defensive midfield position in the Gunners ranks. However, these quotes from the Spartak owner all but deny any potential switch, and it appears as if Romulo will be staying in Russia for the time being, leaving Gunners head coach Arsene Wenger to look at various other targets as he attempts to strengthen his side for the second half of the Premier League season.