Arsenal face being forced to admit £34m transfer mistake this summer

Edu attending an Arsenal match
-Credit: (Image: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal have a decision to make over Fabio Vieira this summer after a second underwhelming season since arriving at the Emirates.

Vieira, 24, has yet to make 50 appearances for the club as the second anniversary of the attacking midfielder signing from Porto for £34.2 million approaches later this month. Injuries have contributed to that, including a groin problem this year that required two surgeries.

An untimely red card against Burnley in mid-November further restricted his playing time right before the injury. But when Vieira has been available since then, manager Mikel Arteta has scarcely turned to the former Portugal youth international. That lack of action reportedly has his former club, Porto, considering bringing their academy graduate home this summer.

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Portuguese newspaper A Bola reports that they have Vieira tabbed as a replacement for Francisco Conceicao, who is likely to leave the club this summer.

After two stop-start seasons in England, Vieira apparently wants an exit to play more regularly. But one sticking point may be that Porto are in no position to pay anything like the fee they received for Vieira in the summer of 2022.

It would have to be a loan if Vieira is to return to the club he first joined at the age of eight. Arsenal would also not even have all of his wages off their books for the season, as they would seemingly have to continue paying part of his salary to facilitate any deal.

However, the club have shown a willingness to loan players in similar situations over recent seasons. Albert Sambi Kokonga and Kieran Tierney left Arsenal on loan to Luton Town and Real Sociedad last season for a fee and are now likely to move on permanently.

It may come down to whether Porto can stump a high enough loan fee and pay enough of Vieira's wages to make the move worth Arsenal's while. Questions about the player's training performances, according to The Athletic , could also force the club's hand if there is a deal that suits both parties this summer.