Arsenal were “interested” in Dinamo Moscow winger Bitello but the Premier League giants did not make an official bid for the £8.5million former Gremio star.
This is according to Timur Lepsaya; an agent and former director with numerous connections in both Russian and South American football.
Dinamo Moscow made a big splash earlier this month when it signed one of Brazil’s brightest young attacking talents, beating off competition from Monaco and Dutch champions Feyenoord with the 23-year-old Bitello.
Arsenal was also heavily networked. But in conversation with ChampionshipLepsaya struck a similar tone to Fabrizio Romano, who insisted reports claiming Bitello was heading to the Emirates were “misplaced”.
Arsenal were “interested” in Bitello.
“The amount (paid to Dinamo Moscow) for Bitello is more than justified. Bitello was on the radar of many European clubs,” explains Lepsaya.
“I know Gremio well. I know their sports director. They are very professional people. Gremio is currently struggling financially and was interested in selling Bitello. But in the early stages of the transfer window, for example, they rejected an offer from Monaco that was less than 10 million euros.
“Arsenal were also interested in the Brazilian. But as far as I know, they made an offer.
“Feyenoord made an official offer in the final days of the European transfer window. Feyenoord was willing to pay the requested €10 million, but could not agree on a payment structure with Gremio.
“The Dutch club was only prepared to pay the amount within three years.”
Arsenal will be watching closely
Bitello, an intelligent, technically gifted right-sided attacker who gets on well with experienced striker Luis Suárez at Gremio, could be a player Arsenal continue to keep an eye on as he looks to make a name for himself on the other side of the Atlantic .
Under Edu Gaspar – technical director and former Selecao ace – Arsenal has consistently exploited the Brazilian market in recent years. Gabriel Martinelli, Marquinhos and Pablo Mari are among those who arrived from the South American country.
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