Arsenal to up interest in Leandro Damaio

Internacional striker Leandro Damaio has been targeted by Arsenal as one of their January signings, according to The Daily Mirror.

Damaio was a summer target for North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, but their interest cooled down over the price tag wanted by the Brazilians. Italian giants Juventus have been looking into Damaio all year and are ready to finalise a deal for next summer. Gunners boss Arsenal Wenger has expressed his interest in the 22 year old and could steal Damaio off the toes of both Spurs and Juventus in the January transfer window.

A move for the Brazilian forward shows how keen Wenger is to strengthen his squad and prove to captain Robin Van Persie that the Gunners are still capable of attracting good players. Wenger is desperate for his striker to sign on a new deal, but Van Persie has yet to make any arrangements and with his current deal coming up next summer, Wenger is worried

Damaio’s agent, Vinicius Parates, was in Turin this week speaking with the Italian side, but has also been in Barcelona contacting the Spanish champions and has spoken with Arsenal. The 22 year old is regarded as one of the bright lights of Brazilian football and could be a top-drawer signing for Wenger. Internacional, however, do want £25m for the hitman, who has scored 31 goals in domestic football in 2011.

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