Brazilian outlet UOL report that Arsenal are interested in signing Bitello, and club technical director Edu Gaspar is in contact with Gremio to try and close the deal.
90min recently reported that Arsenal representatives flew to Brazil last week, watching Bitello in action against Bahia.
The same source claimed the Gunners have opened talks with Gremio over a potential transfer for the 23-year-old, with the Brazilian side prepared to accept a deal worth £8.5m – with a sell-on clause.
Radio Guaiba journalist Rafael Pfeiffer reported around the same time that Arsenal were expected to make a formal opening offer for Bitello in the coming days. It’s unclear whether that’s happened yet.
Arsenal intermediaries have already spoken to the Gremio president over the deal, but further talks are planned.
One complication is that Pfeiffer claimed Gremio are keen to keep Bitello for the remainder of the year, even if they agree to sell him this summer.
The Brazilian league operates on a calendar-year basis, so Gremio are currently in the middle of their season – hence their desire to keep Bitello around.
Gremio are in the semi-finals of the Copa do Brasil and competing towards the top of the Brazilian Serie A, sitting 3rd.
Bitello has made 34 appearances for Gremio this season so far, scoring seven goals and assisting four more.
The midfielder is capable of playing a central role or filling in on the right-hand side. There are suggestions Arsenal could be looking for a backup to Bukayo Saka, so he could fit the bill on that front.