Arsenal’s bid to lure Felipe Melo to the Emirates Stadium has won the backing of their former midfielder Gilberto Silva.

Felipe Melo and Gilberto Silva celebrate Brazil’s Confederations Cup victory

Silva, who left Arsenal for Panathinaikos last summer, has spent the last few weeks playing alongside the Fiorentina midfielder at the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Arsenal are reported to have made a substantial offer to the Italian side, despite the fact that Melo has played just one season for them after joining from Spanish side Almeria 12 months ago.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Silva said:

melo for arsenal We heard rumours and he asked me. I said it’s a fantastic club and if he’s interested he should go without thinking.

He 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. I have told him Arsenal is a great club and I am sure next season they will improve.

Felipe has shown in the national team that he has personality and quality.

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