Encouraging Words From Gilberto

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Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has weighed in on the rumors that the Gunners are bidding to bring Felipe Melo to the Emirates this summer, believing that his fellow Brazilian and Arsenal would make a “perfect match.”

“We heard rumours and he asked me (about the club),” Gilberto told BBC Sport. “I said it’s a fantastic club and if he’s interested he should go without thinking.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is interested in signing Melo from Italian club Fiorentina, to strengthen the holding midfielder position for the Gunners. It’s a role Gilberto himself admirably filled for several seasons with Arsenal, until leaving last summer for Greek side Panathinaikos.

Speaking to BBC Sport after Brazil defeated the United States 3-2 in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday, Gilberto stated that Melo “is exactly what they need — a powerful player with quality. If they got him it would be great because he is a player they need at the moment.

“I’m sure if they got him it would be a good signing,” added Gilberto. “I have told him Arsenal is a great club and I am sure next season they will improve.”

Believing that Melo would have no problems adapting to the Premier League, Gilberto remarked that, “He is a very good player. Felipe has shown in the national team that he has personality and quality.

“I am sure he has a lot more to grow as well. He is a young player, strong, powerful and has a good quality in his pass.”

The other main transfer-related issue surrounding Arsenal and Italian clubs this off-season concerns the status of Emmanuel Adebayor, who is a potential target of AC Milan.

According to numerous media reports, AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani has revealed he has talked to Arsenal about the possibility of signing Adebayor. Milan’s supposed first-choice forward to bring in this summer is Wolfsburg’s Edin Dzeko, but it seems the Bundesliga club has remained firm that he is not for sale, leaving the Italian club to pursue other options.

“Adebayor and (Sevilla striker) Luis Fabiano are the alternatives,” stated Galliani in an article on ESPN’s soccernet.com. “For Adebayor there has been a telephone call, during which (Arsene) Wenger was friendly.”

That last statement doesn’t add much strength to any potential link of Adebayor heading to Milan, especially after a report last Friday quoted Galliani as saying that “we had a meeting with Wenger, but they didn’t offer him (Adebayor) to us.”

But with superstar Kaka gone and speculation that others might be leaving AC Milan, the Rossoneri will surely be looking to bring in a big name or two this summer.

And with Adebayor linked with a move to Milan for a year now, he may yet be the one Gunner sold off this off-season, despite Wenger’s recent comments aiming to keep all of Arsenal’s first-teamers at the Emirates for the upcoming season.

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