why ‘shocked’ Edu called off Arsenal’s transfer pursuit Of Everton SoaresMetro #Article_ViaAugust 7, 2019
Edu began his role as Arsenal’s director of football last month (Picture: Getty) Arsenal called a halt to their pursuit of Brazil international Everton after they were left stunned by Gremio’s valuation.
A pursuit of Champions League qualification last season was undermined by a shambolic defence which conceded 51 goals in the Premier League and capitulated in the Europa League final.
Despite the need for defensive reinforcement, Unai Emery identified the need for a direct, ball-carrying winger to reinvigorate his attack.
Arsenal pursued Wilfried Zaha aggressively at the start of the summer, failing with an opening £40million bid and were unable to tempt Crystal Palace with the offer of a potential part exchange deal which would have included the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Carl Jenkinson.
Everton impressed for Brazil during this summer’s Copa America (Picture: Getty)Frustrated in their efforts to sign one Ivory Coast international, Arsenal turned their attention to Zaha’s compatriot Nicolas Pepe and broke their transfer record to recruit the 24-year-old from Lille for £72million, beating the likes of Napoli to his services.
Before signing Pepe, Arsenal made enquiries, led by newly appointed technical director Edu, for Everton who starred during Brazil’s successful summer Copa America campaign.
According to Globo Esporte , however, Gremio value Everton at around €40m and, given they owned the 23-year-old’s image rights, ultimately he could have ended up costing double that amount.
Edu is expected to make use of his South American contacts in his new role and is understood to have played a key part in identifying and helping smooth the pathway ahead of Grabriel Martinelli’s move to Arsenal earlier this summer.
The 18-year-old winger, who joined from Ituano, has impressed during pre-season and is likely to be included in Emery’s first team squad, especially in light of reports confirming Arsenal’s decision to loan out Eddie Nketiah.
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