Arsenal join race for Galo left-back Douglas Santos, according to reports in Brazil
Belo Horizonte based newspaper Hoje em dia are reporting that Arsenal have joined the hunt for Atlético Mineiro left-back Douglas Santos. Santos was part of Brazil’s squad for their ill-fated Copa América campaign in June, but did not see any minutes on the pitch. He will be the Seleção’s first choice for the Olympic games in Rio in August.
The left-back, who has previously played for Udinese in Serie A, is also said to be interesting Barcelona, who are looking for back up for Jordi Alba. Hoje em dia says that Valencia and Arsenal have made enquiries for the 22 year old, while globoesporte also mentions Liverpool as suitors.
Galo are resigned to selling Santos, who has become one of Brazil’s finest left-backs, during the European summer transfer window. The Belo Horizonte club have already moved to sign a replacement having procured Fábio Santos from Cruz Azul in Mexico.
The Atlético board have resolved to sell Santos for a sum of around €10m during the window in order to be able to fend off interest in striker Lucas Pratto from China, with the Chinese transfer window having reopened yesterday.
Arsenal are looking for a left-back with Kieran Gibbs likely to leave and interest in Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez widely reported. It is difficult to decipher how sincere Arsenal’s interest is. Hoje em dia is a publication that is very close to Atlético, but having resolved to sell Douglas Santos for a good sum, the Brazilian club might be trying to spark interest and maybe a bidding war.
Santos is a rangy full-back in the typical Brazilian style, he likes to attack, has good delivery from wide and his recovery pace is very good. He is a more accomplished defender than most Brazilian full-backs his age, but attacking is clearly his strength.
Brazilian full-backs have a history of struggling to adapt to the Premier League, given the different interpretations of the lateral role there compared to England. Reliable reports in Minas say Valencia and two other clubs have definitely expressed an interest in Douglas, Hoje em dia says that Arsenal and Barcelona are those clubs.