The ongoing transfer saga around Grêmio midfielder Bitello has seen a fresh twist. Reports suggest the player is leaning towards an enticing offer from Russia, despite Arsenal’s significant earlier interest.
Arsenal’s summer was rife with links to Bitello, with many sources suggesting the North London club were on the brink of securing the Brazilian talent.
However, a move to the Emirates never materialised.
According to recent updates from Zero Hora, it appears Zenit are on the verge of clinching Bitello’s signature.
Grêmio are believed to be close to accepting a €10m bid for their midfielder.
The Russian club’s personal terms, reportedly 10 times the player’s current salary in Brazil, seem to have swayed Bitello, despite initial reservations.
An official response from the player is anticipated soon, considering the imminent close of the Russian transfer window.
It’s worth noting that Arsenal’s interest was not mere speculation.
As previously reported on July 31, discussions about a potential transfer to Arsenal were ongoing, albeit at a slower pace.
Commenting on the Talking Transfers Podcast, Graeme Bailey highlighted Arsenal’s genuine interest in Bitello. “Arsenal have had other issues they’ve been dealing with. It’s not an expensive deal, and Edu has picked it out. Arsenal believe they are favourites for him, but there’s interest from Monaco, Porto, and Zenit,” Bailey said at the time.
In addition, transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano confirmed that Bitello was on the radar of Arsenal’s South American scouting team.
However, he also indicated that the situation wasn’t as advanced as some sources claimed.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Arsenal have been linked with a move for the Grêmio star.
Reports from Brazilian outlet UOL, some weeks before that, suggested that Arsenal’s technical director Edu Gaspar had initiated talks with Grêmio to secure the deal. However, a concrete outcome from these discussions remained elusive.
A potential factor influencing Bitello’s decision might be the timing of the Brazilian league.
With Grêmio vying for top honours in the Brazilian Serie A and having reached the semi-finals of the Copa do Brasil, the club’s preference to retain Bitello for the ongoing season could be understood.
This season, the 23-year-old has already featured 42 times for his side, netting eight goals and assisting five.
While Arsenal fans might feel a hint of disappointment, the club’s rich history and robust scouting network suggest that missing out on one target is not the end of the road.
The Gunners have consistently showcased their ability to identify and nurture talent from around the globe.