Arsenal are facing a key “obstacle” in their attempts to sign Gremio midfielder Bitello, according to Gremistas.net.
The Brazilian website claims that “an official proposal” from the Gunners is expected “in the next few days” for the 23-year-old but a deal could be scuppered as the player may not qualify for a work permit.
Bitello has not been capped at senior level by Brazil and, while there are other factors that are taken into account when applying for a visa, it is believed that the midfielder may not reach the 15 points required to make the transfer viable.
Gremistas suggest that Mikel Arteta’s side could sign Bitello and then loan him back to Gremio for the rest of the year. The alternative that is suggested is loaning him to another European team but that is deemed “less likely”.
Arsenal may need to switch targets
The entire reason why Bitello was reportedly being targeted in the first place was because he would have been a cheap solution to add depth to the first-team squad.
Gremio were said to be only demanding €10m (£8.5m) so recruiting the Brazilian did seem like a sensible idea, although it appears now the move will be a lot more difficult to finalise.
Why didn’t the Gunners have any trouble with Marquinhos?
Considering that Arsenal have signed young players from Brazil, such as Marquinhos, in the past, fans may be asking why there is an issue recruiting Bitello.
The main difference between the two players is that Marquinhos played for Brazil at youth level, as well as appearing for Sao Paulo in continental competitions: the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana. All of those games go towards the points needed for a work permit.
In contrast, Bitello has never been called up by his national team, be it for the Under 17s, Under 23s or the senior team, while he has made just one solitary appearance in the Copa Sudamericana.