Real Madrid have pulled out of the race to sign Lucas Silva, opening the door for Arsenal to seal a January deal for the Brazilian starlet, reports Marca.
Carlo Ancelotti has been working hard to try and agree a deal with Cruzeiro but has seen two offers rejected by the Brazilian outfit. Meanwhile, Arsenal are reported to have already met their £13 million asking price.
The Spanish newspaper claims that Florentino Perez is not willing to up real Madrid's second offer as Luka Modric continues to make excellent progress recovering from a thigh injury. The Croatian is expected back in early February while Sami Khedira looks set to stay at the club until at least the summer.
As a result, the Real Madrid president declared: "Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, we will not bring reinforcements in the winter transfer market. Right now there are none.
"If Lucas Silva has to come, it will be in the summer under normal circumstances."
It gives Arsenal hope that they may be able to land the 21-year-old, who has been dubbed the new Kaka, in the January transfer window. The Gunners have already signalled their intent, launching an offer that meets Cruzeiro's asking price.
However, Manchester United and Chelsea remain interested in signing the defensive midfielder and have time to launch a rival bid ahead of the January transfer window.
Premier League scuffle
Arsene Wenger seems more desperate than either Jose Mourinho or Louis van Gaal to sign a deep-lying midfielder after seeing Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta struggle to provide the physical presence such a position requires.
But Chelsea already have a dynasty of Brazilian players amongst their squad while Manchester United could outstrip Arsenal in a heartbeat if it came down to money. The Gunners will hope their early movements will give them the edge in the race. After all, the biggest threat was certainly Real Madrid, who remain Silva's first choice club, according to the same report.