The president of Brazilian side Athletico Paranaense has revealed that Arsenal are interested in midfielder Bruno Guimarães, but they must compete with London rivals Chelsea and Portuguese side Benfica for his services.
The Gunners had previously shown signs of interest as they sent scouts to watch two impressive performances from the 22-year-old last month, but they must fight off the Blues and the Lisbon club if they want to acquire his signature.
Guimarães has made 62 career appearances in the Brazilian Série A, scoring three goals from defensive midfield, and he has also featured for the Brazil Under-23 side twice.
Paranaense’s president Mario Celso Petraglia, as reported by the Daily Mail via Portuguese outlet O Jogo, has confirmed that Benfica lodged a bid earlier in the week, and that they remain the only club to make a formal approach.
“Yes it’s true. Yesterday came the official offer from Benfica to sign Bruno Guimaraes. Let’s study Benfica’s offer. On Monday we will meet the club board to assess this situation.
“Arsenal are interested but will only make an offer at the end of the season.”
No movement as of yet then from Mikel Arteta’s side, as they instead prioritise signing a centre-back this month, with the likes of Jerome Boateng, Dayot Upamecano and Samuel Umtiti all linked with the club in recent weeks.
The centre of midfield should not be entirely ignored though, as it has proved to be a major area of weakness for them this season. Amid tensions between fans and former club captain Granit Xhaka, there has been a clear lack of leadership in Arsenal’s side, contributing to their below-par performances and causing an aura of frustration and disbelief at the Emirates Stadium.
Sitting in tenth position in the Premier League with a hole to fill in midfield, and with Benfica closing in on his services, Arsenal may need to make a formal approach sooner than they may wanted if they want to have any chance of signing Bruno Guimarães.