Way before he scored against Arsenal on Monday, and before he signed for Newcastle United in the January transfer window, Bruno Guimaraes (then of Lyon) was regularly linked with a move to North London.
The Daily Mail claim that interest was genuine, and the only reason Guimaraes ended up in Newcastle instead is that Arsenal were slow and indecisive in trying to close a deal.
We should obviously take that with a pinch of salt, as it’s just the kind of thing the Daily Mail would claim after Arsenal had just conceded a goal to the midfielder – true or not.
Yet it’s not a claim without precedent. The Telegraph’s Sam Dean reported in January that Arsenal hadn’t made any formal offer or approach for the midfielder, but confirmed the Gunners did like the 24-year-old.
James McNicholas of The Athletic added that Arsenal preferred other long-term midfield targets over the Lyon man, but again suggested Guimaraes was somewhere on their shortlist.
L’Equipe reported that both Arsenal and Juventus were following the midfielder, but neither made an official offer.
So it does seem likely that the Mail’s report is largely true, that Arsenal did hold an interest in Guimaraes, but that they prioritised other players and Newcastle capitalised on the delay.
In the short term, that has had the frustrating consequence of significantly damaging Arsenal’s hopes of finishing in the top four.
In the long term, we’ll have to wait and see whether the Gunners land superior midfield targets. But the pressure to do so is certainly on now.
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