Viola eye Melo-Eboue swap
Fiorentina are open to the sale of Felipe Melo to Arsenal with Emmanuel Eboue involved in the deal.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 04/07/09 4:10pm
Fiorentina have released a statement revealing they would be willing to negotiate the sale of Felipe Melo to Arsenal with Emmanuel Eboue involved in a potential swap deal.
Brazil international Melo had been strongly linked with the Gunners only to put pen-to-paper on a contract extension at the Viola on 30th June.
A buy-out clause, said to be €25million (£21.4m), has been included in Melo's new deal and recent reports have suggested Juventus could match that fee.
However, Fiorentina have claimed Arsenal remain the only side to have made an offer that comes close to activating the midfielder's sale clause.
A statement on the club's official website read: "Fiorentina sporting director Pantaleo Corvino, in denying the transfer rumours of the past few hours, which sees Felipe Melo definitely at other clubs and reporting potential meetings to finalise the transfer of the player, underlines the following:
"In case the footballer has already reached an agreement with any club, the release clause fixed with the player himself is €25million. We would not contemplate any exchange, unless it is to the liking of Fiorentina.
"Arsenal is the only club to have come close to the sum established by the release clause.
"Fiorentina in turn proposed to the aforementioned club a reduction in the amount set by the release clause by including right-back (Emmanuel) Eboue in the deal."
Eboue, who signed for the Gunners from Beveren in 2005, has recently grown unsettled at Emirates Stadium and has not ruled out an exit.