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Athletico Paranaense president Mario Celso Petraglia has confirmed that Arsenal are interested in signing Bruno Guimaraes.
Reports last month claimed that Arsenal and Chelsea are battling it out to sign Guimaraes and scouts have been deployed to Brazil to watch the 22-year-old defensive midfielder in action.
Both London clubs are on the lookout for midfield reinforcements and the feedback they have received on Guimaraes has been extremely positive.
However, the Premier League duo will have to see off competition from Benfica for the Brazil Under-23 international.
Athletico Paranaense chief Petraglia has revealed that the club received an offer from Benfica for Guimaraes over the weekend.
‘Yes it’s true. Yesterday came the official offer from Benfica to sign Bruno Guimaraes,’ Petraglia told Portuguese outlet O Jogo.
‘Let’s study Benfica’s offer. On Monday we will meet the club board to assess this situation. While Arsenal are yet to lodge a bid for Guimaraes, Petraglia believes the north London club could make an offer for the midfielder ahead of the summer transfer window.
‘Arsenal are interested, but will only make an offer towards the end of the season,’ he added.
It’s understood Arsenal are prioritising a move for a central defender this January after Calum Chambers was ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.
Mikel Arteta has confirmed that he’s keen to strengthen his defensive options and Jerome Boateng, Dayot Upamecano and Nathan Ake have all been linked in recent weeks.
‘My obligation is to give my opinion on the things we can improve,’ the Spaniard said earlier this month. ‘Obviously we have a bad injury with Calum a few days ago that will change our plans at the back.
‘The reality is we will not be able to do much. I’m more concerned about getting players back from injury and try to improve the players I have here, get everybody on board and understanding what we’re trying to do.
‘And if something extra comes up and we think it is the right opportunity to improve what we have, then let’s do it.’