Arsenal officials arrive club to seal deal for Ricardo Pereira

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Arsenal joined Manchester United in sending scouts to watch Porto over the weekend, according to reports from the Portuguese media.

Monday’s O Jogo reports that the two Premier League clubs both sent representatives to watch Porto’s 2-0 victory over Desportivo das Aves. This is nothing new, as they’ve been watching the club for most of the season.

Scouts from Genoa and Atalanta made up the Italian contingent watching the match, as well as Chaves, Feirense, Tondela and Varzim from Portugal.

The question is, which player did Sven Mislintat send scouts to watch?

In the past, various outlets suggested Danilo Pereira was the target of their interest. The defensive midfielder had a great start to the season, and seems to be the kind of player Arsenal need in the middle of the park.

Since then, Danilo has had to deal with a couple of calf strains. After returning from the second of these last Monday, he then ruptured his Achilles tendon. As a result, he wasn’t part of the weekend’s win.

Perhaps instead the Arsenal scouts were focusing the other Pereira, Ricardo. Porto’s 24-year-old right-back had a fantastic game at both ends of the pitch.

He won 15 of his 18 duels, completed 80% of his long balls, and seven of his nine attempted dribbles. He also made four clearances, two interceptions and six tackles in an all-action performance.

The media linked Arsenal to a move for the full-back last year, when he was on loan at Nice. He reportedly has a €25m (£21.8m) release clause.

If the club are looking for someone to challenge and provide back-up to Hector Bellerin, they could do a lot worse.

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