Arsenal are being linked with a surprising swap deal via which they could sign a Liverpool midfielder after the potential arrival of a solid defender.
Currently top of the Premier League, Arsenal are thinking carefully about how to make sure their squad is successful for the long term. From their present position, they will be eager to adjust their squad to maximise their chances of sustaining their form.
Then, in the summer, they will hope to have Champions League football on offer too, which might make them an even more appealing destination for new targets.
One area they are looking at already is their defence. In that territory, they have been tipped to sign Evan Ndicka on a free transfer when his contract at Eintracht Frankfurt expires.
As a left-footed centre-back, he would provide competition for Gabriel Magalhaes, who has been a regular starter this season.
However, it is now being claimed that Ndicka’s potential arrival at the Emirates Stadium could spell the end of Gabriel’s Arsenal career.
According to Calciomercatoweb, Gabriel remains a long-term target for Juventus. And now, the Serie A side are sensing an opportunity to finally lure him away if Arsenal replace him with Ndicka.
The report claims that Juventus are putting together plans for a part-exchange deal. It is claimed that they are willing to include Arthur Melo in their offer for Gabriel.
Arthur is currently spending the season on loan at Liverpool from Juventus. However, injury issues have prevented him from really making an impact.
In a recent Instagram post, Arthur admitted that 2022 was “the most difficult year” of his life, in which he suffered due to criticism and injuries.
In 2023, the Brazilian will be aiming to get back on track. But his chances of convincing Liverpool to keep him on a permanent basis appear to be slim as things stand.
Arthur may have to embark on another fresh start by the time the summer comes around. Incidentally, Arsenal were linked with him for a long time before he went to Liverpool instead.
Midfield is another position that Arsenal might need to evolve. Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny have already reached the age of 30, while Thomas Partey will do so before the start of next season.
Arthur Melo future uncertain amid questionable status
Whether they would still be interested in Arthur after a difficult 2022-23 season – unless his form dramatically improves when he returns to action – remains to be seen.
The report claims that Mikel Arteta is a big fan of the former Barcelona man still. Hence, Juventus believe they could get a discount on Gabriel by sending Arthur in his direction.
It is not made clear, though, how much each piece in the part exchange would be worth.
Arthur’s contract back at Juventus is due to expire in 2025. Gabriel, meanwhile, recently signed an extension with Arsenal until 2027.
It seems surprising, then, that his long-term future might be in question already – especially when he has been part of a successful side this season.
But competing at the top level is all about identifying areas for marginal improvements. Perhaps Arsenal feel the opportunity with Ndicka is one not to be missed, and could therefore reconsider their other plans.
Still, they should exercise caution before entertaining any proposal like the one Juventus might have in mind. Arthur might not be the player Arteta remembers, so the deal might not be as beneficial as Juventus could be trying to tell them it would be.
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