Andre Santos’s short and undistinguished spell at Arsenal could soon be at an end with the Brazilian joining Gremio on-loan for the rest of the season.
The 29-year-old, who joined from Turkish side Fenerbahce in August 2011, had been photographed arriving in Brazil ahead of his proposed departure and Arsenal have now confirmed the deal on their official website.
“Andre Santos has joined Brazilian side Gremio for the remainder of the 2012/13 season,” read the statement.
“After finding opportunities limited this term, Santos now returns to Brazil’s Serie A—the Brasileirao—for more regular first-team football.
“Everyone wishes Andre well for his time with the Tricolor,” it concluded.
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The writing was on the wall for Santos when Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger went out and signed fellow left-back Nacho Monreal on transfer deadline day, following an injury to Kieran Gibbs.
Gremio had earlier admitted that they were hopeful of completing the signing, although it was not initially known whether it would be a permanent transfer or a loan deal.
"Andre Santos is one of our interests,” said Gremio president Fabio Koff, according to ESPN. “We talked with Arsenal, but there is nothing certain. It is a very difficult negotiation.”
Santos’s teammate Lukas Podolski had appeared to confirm the move when he wished him well on Twitter.
“@Andre_santos27 We will miss you man, I wish u all the very best £Gunner God bless you.''
With Monreal being the only arrival at the Emirates in January, there has already been much speculation about Arsenal’s summer transfer targets.
One of the names mentioned is Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke. But Villa have said that the 22-year-old will cost any potential suitor serious money.
“When the guy came into Villa, people were saying to me ’who is he and why are you going for someone from Genk?’” said Villa manager Paul Lambert.
“With what he’s done, he’s a cult hero already.
“He’s only 22 and he’s got years and years ahead of him. He’s not at his peak, but what he’s done for me and for the club is fantastic.
“If someone wanted to buy Christian, they’d better have a few quid in their pocket.”
Benteke joined Villa last summer for £7 million and Lambert was asked whether his value had already doubled.
“Yes, by miles.
“He’s not just going to walk out of here for the value he came for, that’s for sure.”
Arsenal are also believed to be interested in Athletic Bilbao central defender Fernando Amorebieta. The 27-year-old will be out of contract in the summer.
TalkSport now reports that the Venezuela international rejected the chance to move to an unnamed Russian club in January but Amorebieta rejected the deal because he has set his mind on a move to England.
Arsenal may have to battle for his signature with Liverpool, Everton and Stoke.
One player currently at Arsenal is young Vasco de Gama midfielder Indio. The 16-year-old has been taken on a week’s trial by the Gunners. The move is more about the player gaining experience, although there is a possibility that he could sign for Arsenal when he turns 18 in February 2014, according to Goal.com.
"I'm anxious for this new stage in my life," Indio told Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte.
"I'll spend a week at Arsenal It will be cool, I hope I enjoy it.
"Of course I have the dream of playing for a European club, but everything has its right time. It will be a good experience. I want to learn."