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Arsenal chief Edu held talks to sign Walce before Pablo Mari deal in January

Arsenal held discussions to sign Sao Paulo star Walce in January (Picture: Getty)

Sao Paulo have confirmed that Arsenal explored a potential deal for Walce in the January transfer window.

Mikel Arteta was intent on bolstering his options in central defence after Calum Chambers was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with a serious knee injury and Arsenal spent the winter scouring the market for possible solutions.

The Gunners went on to reach a loan agreement for 26-year-old Flamengo star Pablo Mari and the Spaniard made two appearances for the north London giants before the coronavirus pandemic forced the football season to be put on hold.

Technical director Edu utilised his extensive contacts back home to get a deal over the line for Mari and it appears he wasn’t the only player on Arsenal’s radar in Brazil.

Edu spoke with Sao Paulo over a possible deal for Walce (Picture: Getty)

Alexandre Passaro, executive manager of Sao Paulo, claims the Premier League giants held negotiations to land their 21-year-old centre-half Walce before Mari signed on the dotted line.

‘Walce had a proposal from Red Bull Bragantino, which we denied,’ Passaro told…