Arsenal were apparently considering a move 27-year-old midfielder, Xeka, who was a free agent until today when it was announced he had signed for Rennes.

Lille's Portuguese midfielder Xeka celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lille LOSC and Nimes Olympique at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq on March 21, 2021. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP) (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images)
Lille’s Portuguese midfielder Xeka celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Lille LOSC and Nimes Olympique at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq on March 21, 2021. (Photo by FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal were unable to complete a deadline day move for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz and, as a result of injuries, find themselves very short in midfield.

Although the window is currently closed, free agents can still be signed and a number of different media outlets were reporting last week that the club were considering a move for Xeka, who has a value of around £8m but who would, obviously, cost nothing.

Lille's Portuguese midfielder Xeka celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the French L1 football match between Stade Rennais FC and Lille LOSC at The Roazhon Park Stadium in Rennes, western France on December 1, 2021. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)
Lille’s Portuguese midfielder Xeka celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the French L1 football match between Stade Rennais FC and Lille LOSC at The Roazhon Park Stadium in Rennes, western France on December 1, 2021. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)

Xeka was a free agent after his contract with Lille expired in the summer.

Another free move fits in with his career to date, where the only fees that have been paid for the two-footed midfielder have been loan fees.

A central midfielder who can also play in a more defensive role or on the left, Xeka had already held discussions with Rennes by the time it was claimed Arsenal were interested.

Despite it being claimed that he preferred a move to the Premier League, where he is said to have a number of clubs interested in him, he agreed a two-year deal with Rennes that was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

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