According to ESPN, Arsenal are planning talks with the representatives of Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira at the end of the season.
ESPN report that the Gunners are eyeing a summer swoop for the 28-year-old, with Mikel Arteta keen on boosting his side’s physical presence in midfield ahead of next season.
It’s claimed that Danilo, who has a release clause of €60m, will be available for about €20m as Porto need to raise funds after the financial losses incurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s added that Arsenal continue to hold an interest in Atletico Madrid star man Thomas Partey, but the Gunners simply cannot meet the Ghanian’s €50m release clause.
Danilo is seen as a much more cost-effective option, the ace also currently earns around £48,000-a-week, so Arsenal will also find it easier to agree a contract with the Portuguese star.
ESPN add that Danilo is open to a move to the Premier League once the season ends, the ace is currently focused on helping Porto challenge for the Portuguese top-flight title.
Danilo’s side sit three points clear at the top with six games remaining, if the midfielder can lead the side to the title it would be a perfect ending to his five-year spell with the club.
Another reason why talks are said to have only been planned for the end of the season is that Arsenal will then know which European competition they’re in – if any, this of course will impact the budget.
The Gunners currently sit ninth in the league, so they aren’t currently in a place that would bring European football – qualifying for the Europa League seems like the side’s best bet.
ESPN claim that Arteta would like to add some experience to Arsenal’s side, this is also said to be part of the reason why the club has re-signed David Luiz and are set to sign Cedric Soares.
Danilo certainly has high-level experience that could benefit a side that has recently shaped up as moving in a younger direction, as the ace won Euro 2016 with Portugal and a title with Porto in 2018.
A defensive midfielder should be a prime target for the Gunners this summer, the side’s defence continues to look shaky and they need a much more commanding presence in front of the backline.
Arsenal’s current crop of midfielders don’t have enough bite when it comes to the defensive side of the game, the Gunners won’t be a Champions League team again until they sort this out.