São Paulo defender Robert Arboleda nearly moved to Arsenal this summer, according to reports from the Brazilian press today.

Journalist Jorge Nicola claims that the Gunners had the Ecuatorian player as an alternative to David Luiz, who ended up joining the North London side on deadline day.

It was Edu Gaspar who saw Arboleda as a target, and sources from São Paulo told Jorge Nicola that the deal ‘hit the post’, as a Portuguese slang says.

“We were approached by Arsenal three days before the end of the transfer window in England”, a staff member said.

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Arsenal’s contact with São Paulo lasted a few days, and was enough for the clubs to even discuss Arboleda’s price.

The Gunners’ intention was to sign the defender on a loan deal, with an obligation to buy him at the end of the spell. They even told São Paulo the reason for that was the Financial Fair Play.

Nicola claims that Arboleda is still ‘for sale’. So perhaps the Gunners could still go back for the South American defender during the next transfer window.