Arsenal technical director Edu enquired about signing Sao Paulo centre-back Walce before the Gunners opted to sign Pablo Mari instead, according to an official of the Brazilian club.
Alexandre Passaro is the team’s executive football manager, and he confirmed that Arsenal had originally looked at their 21-year-old defender before he suffered a serious knee injury:
“Walce had a proposal from Red Bull Bragantino, which we rejected. Here I think I can even say that we had a conversation with Arsenal, exactly for the vacancy that was Pablo Mari, we were talking to Edu Gaspar. He (Walce) ended up getting hurt, which happens.”
Whether the Gunners will consider a move for Walce in the future, we shall have to wait and see. He has very little first-team experience but he has featured prominently in Brazil’s youth teams.
With Edu having been the country’s general manager for three years, it isn’t surprising that he is continuing to use his connections.
The arrival Gabriel Martinelli last year, and the loan deal for Pablo Mari, demonstrate the growing influence the technical director has over transfer policy and we will see whether that continues when the transfer window reopens in the summer.