Arsenal interested in signing 17-year-old South American right-back

London club are in the battle to sign Coritiba defender Yan Couto, according to reports in Brazil. U17 Brazil international has not yet made his senior debut for the club but has been a regular for Brazil’s national team at youth level and played a crucial role in his nation’s win at the Under-17 Mundial in November.

Gunners and Bayer Leverkusen are leading the chase to sign Yan, and the Brazilian club have set a €5m asking price for the right-back. Couto’s contract expires at the end of the year, and Coritiba expects to sell the right-back ‘in the coming days’.

But the 17-year-old defender would not be able to join the London club until he turns 18 in June. Globoesporte report that the Brazilian right-back’s agent has already held talks with three top teams in Europe and clubs are aware of Coritiba’s £5m valuation.

‘I know him perfectly because I’ve followed the youth teams a lot,’ said Coritiba boss Eduardo Barroca. ‘Of course, he is an excellent player. ‘He is a teenager and is already consolidating himself as a top footballer. We are working normally in these early days and expect to count on him in this period that he is here.’

Last year, Edu played a key role in Gunners surprise move for Gabriel Martinelli, who was signed from Brazilian side Ituano. Arsenal also signed David Luiz from Chelsea, Nicolas Pepe from Lille, Kieran Tierney from Celtic, William Saliba from Saint-Étienne and Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid with a season-long loan deal.