According to the Daily Telegraph, Arsenal are in talks with Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon about signing defensive midfielder William Carvalho this summer, with claims that Sporting will be willing to sell the star for £21.5million, with the Portuguese club reportedly in financial trouble.
The Gunners are believed to have had a number of bids rejected for the highly-rated young central midfielder, including bids last summer. The fee was reported as the sticking point in any deal, as Sporting were believed to have wanted around £30million for Carvalho.
The 23-year-old is regarded as one of the best young players in his position in European football and is far more than just a defensive midfield destroyer. He is seen as a midfield enforcer, but can also play.
It is unclear on whether the Portuguese international would be considered as a replacement for the Gunners in-form Francis Coquelin, or competition. The French midfielder has made the defensive midfield position his own in the last few months and it would be harsh just to drop him for a new arrival.
Arsenal are not the only club reported to hold an interest in signing the Sporting midfielder though. The likes of Manchester United and Liverpool have also been linked with signing him this summer.
United spent big last summer and could do again this summer, with a reported transfer budget of £150million. A top-class midfielder will be one of United boss Louis van Gaal’s priorities this summer.
Liverpool have endured a difficult campaign and Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is expected to spend big this summer in an effort to put things right next season. Despite the interest from elsewhere Arsenal seems to be favourites to sign Carvalho this summer.
Carvalho has revealed in the past that his dream is to play in the Premier League. He told the Portuguese publication Record: ‘My dream is to play in England. I know some clubs are interested but my agent Jorge is looking after it and I am relaxed.
‘Now my mission is to work in Sporting and they will be in charge of any transfer and my future. That is very important.’
Every British tabloid seems to be carrying this story, but there has been talk of Carvalho moving to the Emirates in previous transfer windows and it has obviously never happened.
The Gunners do need an extra defensive midfielder this summer, especially with doubts over Mathieu Flamini’s future at the club. Whether Carvalho will join Arsenal or not this summer is unknown, but if he does I am sure he will be a very good addition to the Gunners team.
Will Arsenal sign William Carvalho this summer?