Arsenal are in the market for midfield reinforcements this year as they prepare for impending departures in their squad and as they aim to reinstate themselves as a top four side.
The partnership of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey has looked back to its best over recent performances, notably against Manchester City, but the overall numbers in that department remain thin.
While Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ imminent move to Roma may only be a simple loan deal he is nonetheless expected to join the Italian side permanently in the summer, while Mohamed Elneny’s contract expires at the end of the season.
That leaves only three senior central midfielders left come the summer, and even in the current January window there are only two to select from between Sambi Lokonga and Granit Xhaka.
Arsenal transfer stance on £40m Bruno Guimaraes revealed as Lyon face interest from Premier League duo Everton and Newcastle
A whole host of names have been flung about as potential arrivals, with few discussed more heavily among supporters than Bruno Guimaraes. The Brazilian midfielder has been followed by Arsenal for a number of years, stretching back to his time with Athletico Paranaense in his homeland.
Immense form over in Lyon since moving to the French side in January 2020 has seen his stock rise further, and the Evening Standard reveal that Arsenal remain firm admirers in the 24-year-old.
They will face stiff competition from fellow Premier League rivals Everton and Newcastle, who both are tracking his availability, although neither will offer the same pull as the Gunners were it to come down to a straight shootout. You’d like to think so, anyway.
There have, however, been no firm offers from any of the trio this window – despite Arsenal’s admiration – and even if they were to arrive, Lyon are said reluctant to let Bruno leave over the winter and are more likely to sanction a deal in the summer. He’s on the radar, though.
Despite a troubling financial situation, and a dreadful 13th place standing in Ligue 1 putting their European ambitions at huge risk, it’s believed they can hold firm for this month.
In terms of the fee, sources suggest that Lyon hope to more than double the £17m they parted with two years ago and are looking at around £40m. That figure is partly due to Athletico Paranaense having a 20% sell-on clause in the deal.
Verdict: Given the state of Lyon at present, Arsenal really should be testing the waters this winter. The club’s situation will only worsen without Bruno, admittedly, but there is little reason to shy away from what would be a bargain in mid-season for a player with undoubted quality and at a great age.
This is someone who manages transitions brilliantly, can pick out the risky passes, progress with the ball at feet and create from deep. Strike while Lyon’s irons are hot.