Arsenal Close to Sealing £23m Player Swap Deal: Wenger Interested In Clichy for Melo Exchange

Emirates outfit considering switch deal to land Brazilian international.

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Brazil's soccer player Felipe Melo attends a training session in Johannesburg June 30, 2010. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

Juventus are reportedly set to raid Arsenal for Gael Clichy, with Felipe Melo being used as bait to persuade the Gunners to sell.

According to the Italian press, the Bianconeri’s management team have indentified their defence as the main focus for reinforcement, and Clicy is understood to be a target.

Arsenal, however, will be reluctant to part with the French left-back, but reports that Juve have told the Londoners that they can sign Melo on a cut-price deal if they agree to the sale of Clichy.

Brazilian ace, Melo, has gained a reputation as a no-nonsense holding midfielder during his time in Serie A – initially with Fiorentina – and could provide Arsene Wenger with the added tenacity he needs to turn Arsenal into champions once more.

Despite the Italians prepared to do business regarding the 27-year-old former Mallorca man, they will still expect the Gunners to cough up in excess of £8 million – plus Clichy – to land their target.

This may be put Wenger off any a deal, especially after the emergence of Alex Song last season as a potentially worthy successor to former Arsenal defensive midfielder Gilberto Silva. (Give Me Football – Official PFA Website)

Reports linking French International Gael Clichy with a move away from the Emirates are becoming very common place and some sources state that the full back wants to leave for a new challenge. Given that the north London club have a ready made replacement in Kieron Gibbs must enter Wenger’s thinking on this deal.

The Arsenal boss is known to be a big admirer of the Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo who could be the ideal man to give the Gunners a solid feel in the centre of their midfield. Alex Song had a good season last term but the experienced Juventus man may be a good option to pick up.

Wenger may be thinking of playing two steely players to offer Cesc Fabregas extra protection. The deal would end up costing around £23m in total, the source above believes that Arsenal would have to hand chunk of cash on top of Clichy to seal the signing of £15m rated Melo.

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