Arsenal are desperately trying to bolster their squad before Monday’s transfer deadline as Mikel Arteta seeks the reinforcements he believes are required to maintain a top four push.
Goalkeeper, defender and centre-forward are the trio of positions aiming to be filled, although as it stands only one player looks set to walk through the Emirates doors. American stopper Matt Turner should be arriving on a deal worth around £5m.
Another deal that appeared close to getting over the line was the move to sign Arthur from Juventus on loan for the remainder of the season.
All parties were keen on the move, with Arteta and Edu fans of the Brazilian’s technical profile, the midfielder wanting to prove himself in the Premier League and wrestle back an international spot, while he had also fallen down the pecking order at Juve.
Arsenal owners make surprise intervention on Edu transfer target as Mikel Arteta is set to miss out on Arthur signing in January window
Edu even met with his opposite number, Federico Cherubini, at London Colney to iron over the details, which appeared to signal an imminent conclusion.
As reported by David Ornstein, Arsenal’s technical director, while angling for a six-month deal, was won over on the idea of instead signing Arthur for 18 months and having an option to buy for €40m at the end. This is a deal that would give the Gunners longer to work with a player that Arteta admires, as well as providing an option to purchase for less than what I Bianconeri would demand this winter.
Edu said yes. The club hierarchy said no.
It is slightly open to interpretation on what side of the fence Arteta sits on. He may be team Edu or team ‘hierarchy’. Equally, it’s not entirely known who said hierarchy is, but one can imagine Josh Kroenke and Tim Lewis are included in that group.
Thankfully, they had their say.
While there are huge reservations over Arthur’s attitude off the pitch before even getting into matters on it, anything other than a six-month deal is a flat no.
While the argument can be made that Arsenal don’t have to buy him at the end of his deal, if he turns out to be a poor fit for whatever reason, Arsenal will be spending a year and a half developing this player and paying his full salary just to send him back to Juventus. Perhaps even more fine-tuned than he was.
These are the deals that this football club have to be turning their noses up at, which is why it is slightly disconcerting that Edu was willing to proceed with it. Again, Arteta’s stance isn’t known.
But hats off to the unnamed hierarchy because at least they’ve seen sense in all of this. It’s a surprise to see a move like this overruled, even if all potential deals go through numerous people, but it’s fortunate that it has been. Ignoring the quality of the player and his suitability, purely from a recruitment perspective it’s terrible strategy unless you truly want the player but can’t afford to buy him outright.
Time to move on from Arthur. Someone saw the light.