Arsenal are considering a potential move for Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha, according to reports.

Mikel Arteta is keen to recruit a new central midfielder in the January transfer window and it’s understood that Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz is one of the Gunners’ top targets.

Palhinha came close to leaving Fulham in the summer as a £55 million deal with Bayern Munich was agreed but the Premier League side were unable to sign a replacement before the end of the window.

Bayern have retained their interest in Palhinha ahead of the upcoming transfer window but according to Fabrizio Romano the German champions could face competition from Arsenal.

‘What I can confirm about Palhinha, this was around the media in the recent days, is that there are also English clubs interested in Palhinha and one of those clubs is Arsenal,’ Romano said.

‘It is true that Arsenal appreciate the player. There are some people at the club who consider Palhinha a very good player. It’s one of the players they discussed internally.

‘There are two issues – the first one is the age, he’s not a super young player. I think next year he will be 29. Also, the price, Arsenal can’t spend that amount of money, something like £70 million, £80m on one more midfielder after spending the big amount of money they invested on Declan Rice.

‘My feeling is if Arsenal will try to do something very big it will be for Douglas Luiz. But it’s going to be more than tough because Aston Villa don’t want to sell the player.

‘Arsenal love Douglas Luiz but Aston Villa, we have to start considering Aston Villa as a top club, not just a normal club, they are doing fantastic, they have a great vision, great board, great manager, great players so we have to respect them.’