Arsenal are set to meet the representatives of Bruno Guimaraes in the coming days, according to Globo Esporte.
Arsenal’s technical director Edu is understood to be holding talks with the 22-year-old’s representatives in London, where a potential deal will be discussed at the Emirates.
London rivals Chelsea have also shown an interest in the Athletico Paranaense midfielder, but Benfica are thought to be leading the race for his signature.
Its believed Mikel Arteta wants to bolster his midfield ranks and are serious about a move for the Brazil Under-23 international.
However, after losing the services of Gedson Fernandes to Spurs on a one-and-a-half season long loan deal, Benfica are looking to replace him with Guimaraes and have offered the Brazilian club £18.7million, a sum they are now weighing up and confirmed by Athletico Paranaense’s president Mario Celso Petraglia:
‘Yes it’s true. Yesterday came the official offer from Benfica to sign Bruno Guimaraes.
‘Let’s study Benfica’s offer. We will meet the club board to assess this situation.’
Petraglia, however, insists Arsenal remain in the running, but would rather strike a deal in the summer:
‘Arsenal are interested but will only make an offer towards the end of the season.’
Arteta would like to bring in the midfielder this month but its thought he is under financial restrictions due to last summer’s spending of predecessor Unai Emery.