Arsenal have opened talks with Gremio over Bitello after watching him in action on Wednesday, and a deal could be struck this week.
90min report that Arsenal representatives flew to Brazil earlier this week, watching Gremio midfielder Bitello in action against Bahia on Wednesday.
The Gunners have opened talks with Gremio over a potential transfer for the 23-year-old, and 90min claim Gremio are prepared to accept a deal worth £8.5m – with a sell-on clause.
Talks are ongoing, but sources reportedly believe a deal could be struck this week.
Radio Guaiba journalist Rafael Pfeiffer reported earlier this week that Arsenal were expected to make a formal opening offer for Bitello in the coming days.
Arsenal intermediaries have already spoken to the Gremio president over the deal, but further talks are planned.
One complication is that Pfeiffer claims Gremio are keen to keep Bitello for the remainder of the year, even if they agree to sell him this summer.
It’s unclear whether or not that’s what Arsenal would want to do.
The Brazilian league operates on a calendar-year basis, so Gremio are currently in the middle of their season – hence their desire to keep Bitello around.
They’re in the semi-finals of the Copa do Brasil and competing towards the top of the Brazilian Serie A, sitting 3rd.
Given Bitello’s age, perhaps Arsenal would be willing to wait a few months to land their man. It would just depend on their plans for him, and whether he’s viewed as an important piece of the puzzle for this season.
Bitello has made 34 appearances for Gremio this season so far, scoring seven goals and assisting four more.
The midfielder is capable of playing a central role or filling in on the right-hand side. There are suggestions Arsenal could be looking for a backup to Bukayo Saka, so he could fit the bill on that front.