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Page last updated at 05:46 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 06:46 UK

Silva urges Melo to join Arsenal

By Simon Austin
BBC Sport in Johannesburg

Brazil's Felipe Melo tussels with Fulham's Clint Dempsey in the Confederations Cup final
Melo (right) could be doing battle with Clint Dempsey in the Premier League next season

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva says he has urged his Brazil team-mate Felipe Melo to join the Gunners this summer.

The Gunners are reported to have made a substantial offer for Fiorentina's 25-year-old holding midfielder.

"We heard rumours and he asked me. I said it's a fantastic club and if he's interested he should go without thinking," Silva told BBC Sport.

"He is exactly what they need - a powerful player with quality."

Gilberto, who left the Gunners for Panathinaikos in Greece last summer, added: "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."

The 32-year-old Silva, who spent six seasons with the Gunners, played alongside Melo in Brazil's Confederations Cup final win over the US and said he had been impressed with his side-kick throughout the tournament.

"He is a very good player," said Silva after his side's 3-2 win at Ellis Park on Sunday.


"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.

"My partnership with him works well and I hope we can carry on doing well for Brazil."

The Gunners are reported to face competition from La Liga and Champions League champions Barcelona for Melo's signature.

Melo has played only one season for Fiorentina after joining the Italian side from Spain's Almeria last summer.

He has a reputation as a fiery midfielder and in his first season in Serie A collected 17 yellow cards and three reds.

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see also
US 2-3 Brazil
28 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Confed Cup final as it happened
28 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Wenger will have money to invest
14 May 09 |  Arsenal
Wenger vows to strengthen squad
10 May 09 |  Arsenal
Wenger transfer policy under fire
17 Apr 09 |  Arsenal
Gilberto moves to Panathinaikos
17 Jul 08 |  Arsenal
Silva joins Arsenal
28 Jul 02 |  Arsenal

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