Arsenal in Brazil to discuss midfielder transfer, as Declan Rice announcement is yet to come

Ciaran McCarthy
Bitello, Gremio, May 2023

Arsenal have reportedly sent representatives to Brazil to discuss a deal for Gremio midfielder Bitello, while Declan Rice is not yet officially a Gunner.

The Gunners have already made one midfielder move this summer. Indeed, Kai Havertz has joined from Chelsea, commanding a fee of £65million.

More inbounds are likely, owing both to Mikel Arteta’s desire to improve his side, and the fact that midfield outgoings are also soon to occur. Granit Xhaka is heading to Bayer Leverkusen, and Thomas Partey has told the Gunners he wants to leave.

One player who could join the club is Gremio midfielder Bitello. Reporter Rafael Pfeiffer states Arsenal have ‘sent representatives’ to Brazil to ‘discuss a potential deal’ for the midfielder.

They might well have their mind made up on him already, but that they’re ‘set to watch him in action’ as Gremio play in the quarter-finals of the Copa do Brasil could confirm things for them.

The 23-year-old has had a good last couple of seasons. Playing in Brazilian Serie B last term, he scored seven goals and assisted three times.

In 13 games in the top flight (Serie A) this season, Bitello has scored three times. The midfielder also has one goal and one assist in seven games in the Copa do Brasil.

What Arsenal’s plans for him, if they are to sign him, are unclear. It would be surprising if he played a lot of first-team football after just one season in Brazil’s top flight.

Of course, the official announcement of Rice as a new Arsenal player has not yet happened, after an agreement between them and West Ham United.

If for whatever reason he didn’t sign, the potential move for Bitello could be viewed in a different light, with his potential role changing.

However, it would seem something catastrophic would need to happen for Rice to not move to the Emirates after the Gunners had courted him for so long.

With that being said, Bitello’s deal likely stands alone, unaffected by any other moves. With that being said, it will be interesting to see if Arsenal do push on with it, and how he’ll be utilised if he is signed.

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