Arsenal & Spurs dealt Italian 'honour' blow over £25m Brazlilian striker

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Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Brazilian international striker Leandro Damiao.

The Internacional striker has been linked with a handful of clubs across Europe, with several teams from the Barclays Premier League credited with an interest in the 22-year-old.

Spurs pursued the player in the summer, with Harry Redknapp reported to have had two offers rejected in pre-season.

The interest of Arsenal is thought to be more recent, with The Daily Mail reporting yesterday that Arsene Wenger is looking to add the £25 million-rated player in an effort to prove to Robin Van Persie that the club is moving in the right direction.

However, both north London rivals could miss out on the player, with agent Vinicius Prates confirming that a move to Italy is a possibility.

“It’s possible that Leandro could be playing his football in Italy next year. It is only normal that the big clubs are interested in Damiao. We’ve received calls from clubs all over Europe," said Prates.

“It’s only normal for teams to get informed. Juve are a great club and it would be an honour for Leandro to play for them. I’ve met with them, but there was nothing official. It was just an informal chat.

“We are obviously interested in Juve, but I can’t speak of money as that is a club matter. It will be up to them to find an agreement.”

Tottenham Hotspur are thought to be interested in strengthening their attacking options in 2012, with a potential replacement for Roman Pavlyuchenko thought to be on the White Hart Lane agenda.

Emmanuel Adebayor's long-term future at the club is also uncertain, whilst Jermain Defoe has admitted that he may have to leave Spurs in an effort to cement his place in the England squad for Euro 2012.

Should Redknapp lose any of the aforementioned trio, then changes could be afoot at Tottenham Hotspur as they try to cement their place in the Barclays Premier League top four.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are expected to turn to the transfer market in an effort to strengthen their attacking line in 2012.

The Gunners moved up to fifth with victory over Wigan today, but fears over the depth of their forward line at the Emirates continues to be a concer.

Van Perise has scored 14 goals in all competitions this term, but Arsenal are relying on the Dutchman after Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young failed to take their opportunities to impress earlier in the season.

Damiao is thought to be at the top of the Arsenal radar, although Moussa Sow is another forward being linked with a move.

Tottenham Hotspur
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