Arsenal and Chelsea were reportedly keen on Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.
Daily Mail claimed at the end of December that the two London sides were keen on signing the highly-rated Brazilian midfielder. Benfica are also in the running for Guimaraes and the Portuguese heavyweights already have a bid rejected for him.
Athletico are now willing to let go of their star midfielder for just around £21 million as opposed to their previous expectation of £25.7 million. That is a huge bargain for a player of Guimaraes’ quality and Arsenal should get back into the mix for his signature.
The Gunners were initially eyeing the Brazilian as a replacement for Granit Xhaka who was expected to leave the club this month. However, the Swiss international is set to stay following the arrival of Mikel Arteta but the Gunners should not rule out a move for Guimaraes.
The 22-year-old hugely impressed in the Brazilian Serie A last season. He played mainly in a deep-lying role but his best performances came as a box-to-box midfielder. Arsenal are still to replace Aaron Ramsey who left the club for Juventus in the summer.
Guimaraes has all the qualities to become an ideal replacement for the Welshman thanks to his ability to drive forward with the ball and make late runs into the box without it. Ramsey scored a number of goals for the Gunners doing the latter and a player with similar qualities will be hugely beneficial for Arteta’s side.
The only problem in the deal could be the fact that Athletico want a 20% sell-on fee for Guimaraes. that is a hefty amount in today’s market but with Edu’s connections in Brazil and Raul Sanllehi’s expertise in transfer negotiations, Arsenal could work something out and they should do so ahead of Benfica this month.