Arsenal are scouting 18-year-old midfielder Ramires of Brazilian club Esporte Clube Bahia, according to the player’s agent.

Sport Witness reported earlier this week that they had spoken to Ramires’ agent, Uéslei, who confirmed that Arsenal had been watching the player. He denied there had been any transfer talks, but that could all change come January and the winter window.

Since then, Bahia vice president Vitor Ferraz has spoken about the rumours, admitting Ramires is indeed being watched. However, he tried to play down the idea that the 18-year-old could be on the move in the near future.

“It’s a period when evaluations are constantly made and it’s normal for this type of approach to arrive, that scouts come here and evaluate the athlete more closely and we are aware of all this,” Ferraz told Rádio Metrópole.

“In contractual terms, the athlete is well protected and our job is to guide him and make him worry about playing football.”

It’s hard to say exactly how long Ramires is tied down for, as there’s no publicly available information for his contract length. We’ll just have to take the vice president’s word for it on this one.

As for why Arsenal would want the midfielder, he’s already made 12 appearances for the Bahia first team after turning 18 in August. He has two goals and three assists in those matches, including a goal in the last-16 of the Copa Sudamericana.

Ramires is strong at creating chances and taking set pieces, though currently lacking a bit in the air. That’s fairly common for young players though. It was worth Arsenal checking him out if nothing else and we’ll see if that comes to anything.