Arsenal could complete Melo deal 'in next few days' as advanced talks reported - pundit
Arsenal could have a midfield target like Arthur Melo “lined up” as Mikel Arteta looks to alleviate his availability woes, according to Kevin Phillips.
The former Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed a deal could be done “over the next few days”.
According to the Telegraph (14 January), Arsenal are in advanced talks to sign Melo and are waiting for Juventus to approve the loan move.
The report claims the Italian giants want a replacement signed before sending the Brazilian to north London.
Arteta is contending with a midfield crisis after Granit Xhaka saw red against Liverpool on Thursday – with Albert Sambi Lokonga the only senior central midfielder available for selection.
Phillips insisted Arsenal would be “daft” not to have someone “lined up” after the loan departure of Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“They could well have Melo lined up to come in over the next few days,” he told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs.
“I think they’d be daft not to have someone waiting in the wings. Of course, it’s never that straightforward in the January window.
“You would like to think that Arsenal will have planned ahead.”
Melo cost Juventus an initial fee of £60m rising to £68.5m when he joined the Old Lady from Barcelona in September 2020.
The 21-cap Brazil international has been out of favour in Turin this term, making just three Serie A starts.
Xhaka will serve a one-match suspension after receiving a red card in Thursday’s League Cup semi final.
Arsenal midfielders Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are currently away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.
The Gunners are sitting fifth in the Premier League with a game in hand on fourth-placed West Ham.