Arsenal face having transfer deal hijacked by Nottingham Forest

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Arsenal face having their transfer deal for Brazilian star Danilo hijacked after Nottingham Forest reportedly launched an £18million bid for the midfielder. The Gunners have stormed to the top of the Premier League table after winning 14 of their 17 matches this season.

Arsenal were linked with a move for Danilo back in the summer as they looked to bolster their midfield ahead of the new campaign. But a move to north London never materialised, with the 21-year-old staying at Palmeiras in his homeland.

The Gunners’ interest reportedly cooled before Christmas after Danilo missed out on a place in Brazil’s World Cup squad. However, Arsenal’s interest has heated up again in recent weeks with Mikel Arteta looking for reinforcements. But according to The Telegraph, Forest are now in talks with Palmeiras over a move for the player.

The east Midlands club are not the only team who want to land the star but could look to get a deal done quickly with a transfer bid that includes add-ons. Forest have already done business with Palmeiras this month after prising attacking midfielder Gustavo Scarpa away from the club on a free transfer.

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“We’re in the middle of the season in January and we have the opportunity to improve the squad,” said Forest boss Steve Cooper on Monday. “I’m only thinking about what’s next. I’ve got a really strong relationship with Filippo [Giraldi, sporting director] and that’s good in trying to make the right decisions in terms of moving forward. It’s a really busy time with it being January and I do know there’s a lot of work going on.”

Danilo broke into the Palmeiras team as a teenager and has gone on to rack up 12 goals and nine assists in 141 appearances for the club. He won the Brazilian league last year after already lifting the Brazilian Cup on two occasions. But he couldn’t force his way into his country’s World Cup squad and is yet to make his international debut, despite being named on the bench for Brazil’s friendly victory over Japan last summer.

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Forest spent huge money to sign a whole host of players over the summer after winning promotion back to the Premier League. But they started the season in dismal form and won just one of their first 11 matches. Cooper’s side have improved of late, however, and have climbed to 15th in the table after drawing 1-1 with Chelsea on New Year’s Day and defeating Southampton 1-0 three days later.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have enjoyed their best campaign for years and find themselves five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table. The Gunners defeated West Ham and Brighton following the World Cup break but were held to a 0-0 draw by Newcastle at the start of the month.

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