Arsenal have apparently leapfrogged Chelsea in the race for Benfica star Talisca, with the Gunners hoping to sign him in January, as reported by the Daily Star.
Talisca would be targeted primarily if Lukas Podolski leaves the Emirates Stadium during the January window, with the north London side reportedly willing to pay up to £17 million for him.
The Brazilian attacking midfielder has emerged as a top talent this season while playing for Benfica, and despite not being a striker, he is the top scorer in the top flight of Portuguese football.
Talisca played for Brazil’s Under-21s against Bolivia on Friday, and Arsene Wenger sent scouts to watch him.
This was the third time that the club had had Talisca reviewed.
Having been impressed by his displays, the Gunners have now made contact with his agent to discuss a possible deal.
Work permit problems stopped him making the switch to the Premier League in the summer, but that might change and see him join an English side in the future.
Talisca has scored six goals in seven games in Portugal.
Jose Mourinho has revealed that he and Chelsea have been scouting Brazilian striking sensation Talisca for two seasons, but there are suggestions that he was in charge of one of many clubs who were thwarted by work permit issues this summer, which saw him move to Benfica instead, as reported by the Daily Express.
Jorge Jesus, Benfica’s manager, had cast doubts upon the fact that Mourinho claimed several teams were interested in Talisca from England this summer, with the suggestion by the Europa League finalists being that few clubs would have known about the player before this summer.
Benfica signed the striker from an obscure background, taking him from Brazilian team Bahia in the early days of the summer window.
However, Mourinho has remained adamant that the Stamford Bridge club were interested in the Brazilian during the summer, and has entered into a war of words with Jesus over this.
He said: “I don’t like when a professional colleague doubt my words. Talisca is one of two players we’ve been scouting since 2012.”
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said that several Premier League sides were among those chasing Benfica starlet Talisca during the summer transfer window, as reported by the Daily Express.
Problems with work permits mean that despite significant interest from elsewhere, Talisca could only secure a move to Portugal, where it is easy to move to from Brazil.
He has been an immense success at the Portuguese giants since making his debut, scoring three goals in only four appearances for the club, and there have been question marks over why the player did not move to a larger club this summer.
Mourinho himself has confirmed, however, that the player did attract interest from Premier League sides, and were it not for his work permit situation, he would have found himself with more options to chose from.
He told TVI24: “Some say he’s unknown. He’s so unknown the only thing stopping him from playing in England is work permit.
“Good English clubs wanted him, and they even wanted to sign him and loan him out so he could get a work permit later.”
While Talisca has represented Brazil at Under 20 level, he has not played for the senior side, making it difficult to get him a work permit.
Could Mourinho be hinting that his team were among those targeting the youngster?