With the arrivals of Dani Ceballos, William Saliba, Nicolas Pepé and Kieran Tierney, it’s fair to say Arsenal had one of the best transfer windows among Premier League clubs.
But despite the success in making good signings in the transfer window, a miscommunication left some discomfort at the London side in the final weeks of the market, Sport Witness has learned.
After the departure of Ivan Gazidis to AC Milan, the Gunners were waiting for the arrival of former club midfielder Edu Gaspar to fill the role.
Gaspar had been a coordinator with the Brazilian national team, and that’s why the move had to be delayed until mid July, after the end of the Copa America.
Meanwhile, the Gunners started moving on the deals mentioned above, and expected Gaspar to arrive with potential South American targets in July.
While in Brazil, Edu still managed to work on minor deals, such as the signing of Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano. He also made an approach for the Corinthians right-back Fagner, sources said.
The Brazilian was expecting to find a list of potential signings on his arrival, and once he realised it was his job to come up with fresh names, he had to rush for a new list of targets.
Since the Gunners had already made a couple of signings, there was no big pressure for new incomings, but Edu felt bothered by the situation, and started looking for potential moves.
With him on the job, Arsenal started pursuing players such as Everton Cebolinha, Philippe Coutinho and David Luiz in the past 40 days.
The Gunners only wanted to spend up to €40m on Éverton, while Grêmio demanded €70m for the transfer. So the London club gave up on the Brazilian and decided to go for a European player, spending €80m to close a deal for Nicolas Pepé from Lille instead.
Meanwhile, the likes of Philippe Coutinho and David Luiz were seen as the obvious targets. Besides being well established players, they are both represented by Giuliano Bertolucci and Kia Joorabchian, agents who Edu has known for years, both from his time at Corinthians and with the national team.
Arsenal’s contacts for Robert Arboleda were only made three days before the end of the transfer window, as reported by the Brazilian press last week. He was seen as another alternative for the defence.
After a few weeks of flurry, Edu did his job by signing David Luiz, who had just recently secured a contract extension with Chelsea. That was seen as the director’s first big move for the Gunners.
Edu is now breathing a sigh of relief, feeling like he’s left a good first impression, while he knows he will have much more time to plan the next transfer windows.