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Arsenal have already begun plans for the summer transfer window with Corinthians starlet Maycon their first target, according to reports.
The Sun understands that after several scouting missions spread over more than a year, the Gunners are eyeing a move for the 20-year-old – who primarily operates in central midfield.
Corinthians’ asking price is around £9m (R$41m, $13m) but the Sao Paulo-based club would want the youngster back on loan for an undisclosed period for any deal to materialise.
“Arsenal are very interested in Maycon,” a source told the newspaper. “He has been watched a fair amount for more than a year. They have been impressed and he has a promising future. He is not really a player for now.
“There could be issues with getting him a visa. It would take a lot of work behind the scenes to get sorted. Arsenal have other priorities, so it could be one that happens in the summer, rather than now.”
Maycon has eight appearances for Brazil’s Under-20 side, making his debut against England in a 2-1 win last April, prior to the Three Lions going on to win the World Cup in the summer.
With Maycon able to play in a holding or advanced role, he could be seen as the long-term replacement for Santi Cazorla, whose contract at The Emirates Stadium, after a run of over a year on the sidelines, expires this summer.
But with Arsenal’s attention firmly on covering further for the loss of Alexis Sanchez, the club are expected to delay making a firm offer until the end of the season.
Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been identified as the club’s chief target with less than a week of the January transfer window to run, but the Bundesliga side have turned down two bids for the forward, including a latest offer of €50m.