Luis Boa Morte, an ex-Arsenal star turned scout, has confirmed the club’s interest in Porto’s tough tackling defensive midfielder Danilo Pereira, revealing that he’s been keeping tabs on the 24-year-old for years, as reported by Portuguese publication O Jogo (via the Metro).
We are badly in need of a backup for Francis Coquelin, whose recent and lengthy injury (via Arsenal.com) has only served to highlight our lack of depth in that department.
Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta’s sub-par performances have only served to aggravate Arsenal fans who have already been demanding signings for years, and it’s clear they aren’t up to the task anymore.
Boa Morte has clearly been tasked with monitoring Danilo with a view to bringing him to the Emirates, and now could be the time to act.
Our scouts have regularly been seen at Porto games, and initially it was believed to be Ruben Neves we were scouting. Evidently that was not the case though, as Boa Morte confirmed.
“I went to Madeira, but not to watch Neves. He’s an 8, not a 6,” Boa Morte told O Jogo.
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“I’ve watched Danilo since he was 15/16 years at Benfica. His development has been impressive, but I wasn’t surprised by it.
“Danilo has quality for a different challenge, he just needs to be given the opportunity. Things are already easy for him at FCP.”
The former Arsenal man clearly believes the midfielder has what it takes to succeed at Arsenal, and seems to be giving the transfer his blessing; but will Arsene Wenger sign off on the deal?
The report suggests Danilo has a £29.5m release clause in his contract, which seems a little too steep for a player unproven outside of the Portuguese league. The Metro seem to believe he could be available for far less though, so Wenger may be able to get Porto down to a more reasonable fee.
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Securing Danilo would be an excellent acquisition, and he certainly seems like he’d be more than adequate backup for Francis Coquelin.
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