Juventus are growing reluctant to let Arthur Melo leave this month, forcing Arsenal to consider alternative targets in midfield.

TURIN, ITALY: Melo Arthur of Juventus runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Gaston Brugman of Parma Calcio 1913 during the Serie A match between Juventus and Parma Calcio at Allianz Stadium on April 21, 2021. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino / Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY: Melo Arthur of Juventus runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Gaston Brugman of Parma Calcio 1913 during the Serie A match between Juventus and Parma Calcio at Allianz Stadium on April 21, 2021. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino / Getty Images)

The Athletic report that Arsenal were confident at one stage of securing an agreement to sign Arthur Melo on a six-month loan from Juventus.

But Juventus initially pushed for Arsenal to accept an 18-month loan instead, and they’re now reluctant to let him leave at all.

Mikel Arteta and Edu are long-term admirers of Arthur, and the player himself is interested in the move. He believes the Premier League would give him a platform to fight his way into the Brazil squad ahead of the World Cup.

One small positive is that Juventus are closing in on a deal for a midfielder – Nahitan Nandez of Cagliari. If they sign him, it would slightly increase the odds they’ll let Arthur go.

For now, however, it doesn’t look like there’s much chance of a deal in the final few days of the January transfer window.

The Athletic report that Arsenal haven’t given up yet, but they’ve been forced to consider other targets.

REGGIO NELL'EMILIA, ITALY: Melo Arthur of Juventus runs with the ball during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and Juventus at Mapei Stadium - Città del Tricolore on May 12, 2021. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini / Getty Images)
REGGIO NELL’EMILIA, ITALY: Melo Arthur of Juventus runs with the ball during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo and Juventus at Mapei Stadium – Città del Tricolore on May 12, 2021. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini / Getty Images)

Ruben Neves (Wolves), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon), and Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa) are all reportedly on Arsenal’s shortlist. The problem is that none of them appear easy to acquire in January.

That was why Arthur was such an attractive option, as he could join on loan and allow Arsenal to make a long-term decision in the summer.

Whether Arsenal can bring one of the above deals forward or find another short-term option in the final few days remains to be seen.

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