Athletico Paranaense confirmed Arsenal planning a transfer swoop for young defensive midfielder

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Athletico Paranaense president Mario Celso Petraglia has confirmed Arsenal are planning a transfer swoop for highly-rated young defensive midfielder Bruno Guimaraes.

The 22-year-old has shone in his native Brazil in his relatively short career so far, and it would be little surprise to see him make the move to Europe in the near future.

Arsenal are a team who could undeniably do with more quality in midfield after a difficult season in which the likes of Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi have struggled to look the part.

Guimaraes could be an ideal upgrade, but Athletico chief Petraglia has also confirmed that Benfica are contenders for his signature, while AFC seem to be preparing to formalise their interest in the summer.

“Yes it’s true,” Petraglia told O Jogo, as translated by the Independent. “Yesterday came the official offer from Benfica to sign Bruno Guimaraes.

“Let’s study Benfica’s offer. On Monday we will meet the club board to assess this situation.

“Arsenal are interested, but will only make an offer towards the end of the season.”

Arsenal fans will hope they can still tempt the Brazil Under-23 international to choose a move to the Emirates Stadium instead.

If he does, he could join fellow Brazilians David Luiz and Gabriel Martinelli at the club, while technical director Edu is also Brazilian, so could have contacts that benefit the Gunners in this deal.