Arsenal have scouted Fluminense midfielder, who has just won the Copa Libertadores for the first time with his club, having beaten Boca Juniors in the weekend’s final.
And that means that they will now compete in the Club World Cup in December, where they could play Manchester City in the final.
He will stay and play in that tournament, but he is expected to be on the move soon afterwards, having reached an agreement with Fluminense that he will be allowed to leave at the end of their domestic season.
Liverpool have been tracking him for some time, and they have already had on offer of ₤26 million turned down, because Fluminense were not willing to lose such an influential player mid-season.
And that has given the Gunners a chance to beat him to his signature, and scouts were in attendance for Saturday’s match.
The fact that the Gunners technical director Edu Gaspar visited the Fluminense training ground during the last international break has only added to the speculation that a move may be afoot from the North London club.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.