Arsenal “would agree” to Bitello staying at Gremio until January even if they sign the player this summer, according to Gremistas.net.
At least three other teams are interested in the Brazilian but it looks as though the Gunners could have a trick up their sleeve in the battle to secure the midfielder’s signature.
Porto are expected to be Arsenal’s main rivals for Bitello (along with Torino and Monaco) but Gremistas claim that the Portuguese side are keen to sign the midfielder “immediately” so he can start the campaign with them.
However, Gremio want the player to stick around until the New Year so he remains part of their squad for the rest of the Brazilian league season. Therefore, Arsenal’s proposal would be the most attractive.
Bitello would not exactly be an expensive purchase
Reports in Brazil suggest that Gremio would only demand around €10m (£8.6m) for the 23-year-old, which is a very reasonable figure for a player of his age and talent.
Even so, the Gunners have been pretty lavish with their spending this summer. If they sign David Raya from Brentford, fees for signings could total £230m. For that reason, delaying the deal until January could make financial sense as well.
Where would Bitello fit in at Arsenal?
The Brazilian does generally play as a central midfielder, but he can also be deployed out wide if needed. Consequently, there is a good chance that manager Mikel Arteta would see him as a utility player.
With the Gunners hopefully fighting for trophies on multiple fronts in the second half of the season, introducing someone like Bitello into the squad, who can fill in across multiple positions as and when needed, could aid the club’s efforts significantly.
At the moment, it doesn’t appear a move for Bitello is imminent but it is one to keep an eye on.