Arsenal tried to sign Robert Arboleda from Sau Paulo FC three days before the English deadline, and the defender is still on the market for a future move.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 24: Robert Arboleda of Ecuador fights for the ball with T. Kubo of Japan during the Copa America Brazil 2019 group C match between Ecuador and Japan at Mineirao Stadium on June 24, 2019 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Juliana Flister/Getty Images)
BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL – JUNE 24: Robert Arboleda of Ecuador fights for the ball with T. Kubo of Japan during the Copa America Brazil 2019 group C match between Ecuador and Japan at Mineirao Stadium on June 24, 2019, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Juliana Flister/Getty Images)

According to Jorge Nicola of Yahoo Sports, sources from Sau Paulo FC informed them that Arsenal made a move for the 27-year-old defender three days before deadline day.

In the end, Arsenal signed David Luiz from Chelsea instead, and the suggestion is that Arboleda was a backup to the 32-year-old centre-back. Nonetheless, with the Luiz deal going all the way to the deadline, there was time for the Gunners to get as far as discussing fees and other terms for Arboleda.

Arsenal wanted Arboleda on loan at first, with an option to buy at the end of the season. For their part, Sau Paulo were willing to sell, given their financial situation at the moment. The club had been relying on money from a sell-on clause in David Neres’ contract this summer, but Neres ended up staying with Ajax.

In the end, signing an experienced Premier League defender like Luiz was the safer bet for Arsenal, especially with the relatively low £8m fee they reportedly landed him for.

However, Arboleda is apparently still for sale, so the Gunners could yet go back for him in the January window.

It seems unlikely they’ll make a move if Rob Holding comes back strong, Calum Chambers keeps up his good form and Luiz adapts to the team quickly. If there is another defensive injury that leaves Arsenal needing a short-term solution in January though, perhaps these summer talks will pave the way for a transfer.

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