• Premier League

Santos: Gremio move a 'dream'

ESPN staff
February 11, 2013
Andre Santos has returned to his homeland

Arsenal defender Andre Santos is relishing the prospect of playing regular football after joining Brazilian side Gremio on loan.

Santos, 29, will spend a year away from Arsenal after a tough period at the Emirates which culminated in him being replaced by January recruit Nacho Monreal in Arsene Wenger's line-up.

Although the terms of Santos's deal are yet to be finalised, the left-back suggested the switch is almost complete, fulfilling his "dream" of linking up with Gremio coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo and returning to his home country.

"I have the best expectations," Santos told Lancenet. "[Gremio] are one of the biggest clubs in the country. "I've come to Gremio to be a champion. I am very excited about this project. I have dreamed of working with Vanderlei Luxemburgo. He is a top manager in our football."

Santos is expected to begin training with Gremio this week, but may be eased into the first team after admitting he struggled with match fitness while playing in the Premier League.

"If there was a game today, I would like to play," he said. "But I need to be match fit as I played a game one day, then not the next one. I'll need five or six games to be fitter. I'm anxious to know the squad."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.