Arsenal have reportedly identified Porto midfield mainstay Danilo Pereira as a potential alternative for Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey.

According to a report from ESPN, Arsenal have narrowed in on and Portuguese international Danilo Pereira as a Plan B, should they miss out on the signing of Atletico Madrid midfield enforcer Thomas Partey.

The Gunners are in the market to strengthen their midfield department, given as Matteo Guendouzi’s time at the club could be drawing to a close, with him being frozen out by manager Mikel Arteta. Lucas Torreira, too, has endured a disappointing campaign, while Dani Ceballos’ loan spell is nearing an end, thus warranting a new addition in the centre of the park.

For quite some time now, Arsenal have been heavily linked with a swoop for Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey. The 27-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe currently. He is reported to have a €50 million release clause which the Gunners will have to trigger in order to sign him up.

However, having now missed out on Champions League football and their Europa League qualification hanging on the FA Cup final against Chelsea, they might not have the funds necessary to meet his clause. In addition, reports in Spain are claiming that Partey could be set to sign a new contract with Atletico.

Danilo Pereira seems keen to join Arsenal (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)
Danilo Pereira seems keen to join Arsenal (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

This has seemingly led them to eye a swoop for Porto star Danilo Pereira. The 28-year-old has been a regular in the middle of the park for the Portuguese giants since joining the club in 2015 and was part of the Portugal national team that won the UEFA Euro 2016 as well as the UEFA Nations League last year.

A seasoned campaigner, Pereira has proven his pedigree at the top level for years now and could be available for much lesser than Partey. Indeed, despite having a €60 million release clause, Porto are willing to offload him for as little as €20 million in the summer, making him a cost-effective option for Arsenal.

The midfielder himself seems to be keen on a switch to the Emirates Stadium, having recently commented that he would be a very good fit into the way Arteta likes to set his team up.

“I think he [Arteta] is doing a really, really, good job there. The style I think I can fit there, the way he plays also thinking on the ball, the team always has to be together – I think it is a good way to play,” he told Stats Perform News.

With the player himself issuing a ‘come and get me’ plea, it will be interesting to see if Arsenal do decide to make a formal approach for Pereira or wait to get a clarity on Partey’s contract situation. The transfer window in England opens on Monday.

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