Arsenal are reportedly closing in on an agreement to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, according to reports in the Metro.
The 22 year old is rated by many as one of the best young prospects in Europe and is on the radar of several top teams, but it is Arsenal who are thought to be in pole position to sign the midfielder.
The Gunners had a £24 million bid rejected for Carvalho last week, but have been boosted by the news that Sporting have now put him up for sale.
Manchester United and Real Madrid are also keen on the youngster but it’s thought that Arsenal are the only team in negotiations to sign him.
It further states that the Portuguese international has a buy-out clause worth £37 million and although a new offer hasn’t gone in, it’s understood that Sporting are now willing to sell for a much lower figure as long as the payment is made up front. Tweeting on Friday night, editor and journalist Tony Leen from the Irish Examiner, said:
Inside word is that the gap between Sporting & Arsenal is narrowing. Whether Arsene will go the extra mile….Your guess is as good as mine!
— Tony Leen (@tonyleen) August 1, 2014
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Carvalho is a versatile defensive midfielder, who has remarkable composure on the ball, as well as his anticipation, agility and power in breaking up opposition attacks being among his strengths. He is physically dominant in the middle and is a fierce tackler who never shies away from a battle. He has a knack for finding men out wide with accurate lofted passes, as well as keeping it simple along the floor.
The Gunners have not had a dominant midfield presence since the days of Vieira, who was bossing proceedings as the focal point of Wenger’s midfield. When Vieira was sold in 2005, Arsenal lost the power needed to make their silky passing work in the rugged Premier League. But Carvalho can give Arsenal back the proverbial steel Wenger has been searching for.
It appears Arsenal are in the driving seat and a deal is getting closer to bring him to the Emirates. The fee being discussed is certainly steep, particularly for a youngster who is relatively unproven at the top level of European football. However, Wenger loves to take chances on young talents who can be shaped into major stars and Carvalho certainly is a worthy investment.
Can Carvalho become the new Vieira at Arsenal? Share your thoughts in the comments below.