Arsenal are set to beat Manchester United to their first signing of the January transfer window, as they line up the signature of Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, as reported by the Daily Star.
Reports on the continent suggest that the Gunners are close to finally capturing a midfielder that they have been heavily linked with a move for since the summer.
Carvalho has also been a target of Man Utd’s for a long period of time, and it will come as a boost to Arsene Wenger that he has been able to pip his Premier League rival to the Portuguese international’s signature.
Recent news stories suggested that Wenger was trying to negotiate Carvalho’s transfer fee down to £20 million, with Sporting having demanded a fee closer to £30 million.
Bringing in the midfielder will be a huge boost to Arsenal fans, who have wanted Wenger to sign a natural defensive midfielder for a long time.
Arsenal look likely to bring Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho to the club in the January transfer window, making him a potential first signing of the winter period.
The Gunners are expected to make a £20 million bid for the defensive midfielder, taking advantage of the fact that Sporting have been eliminated from the Champions League.
Arsene Wenger was incredibly keen to sign him in the summer, but a deal could not be agreed, with a disparity in valuation being particularly problematic for the two sides.
Sporting wanted a huge £30 million to sell him, given Carvalho’s exceptional displays for both Sporting and Portugal at the World Cup in Brazil.
However, Sporting are willing to reduce the asking price in an attempt to force through a sale, with the Portuguese giants needing to fund a possible transfer spree, according to the Daily Star.
Arsenal are said to have bid £15 million for Carvalho two months ago, with Sporting refusing the offer.
Negotiations have continued, however, and a £20 million deal is now set to be agreed for January.
Liverpool have reportedly waded into the battle to sign William Carvalho, entering into direct competition with Arsenal as a result, as reported by the Daily Express.
The Gunners were regularly linked with a move for the defensive midfielder, rated at £37 million, in the summer, but a move from the north London side never materialised for him.
Manchester United and Chelsea were also linked, but it was Arsenal’s interest that came on the strongest.
In fact, they were expected to make a move for the player in January when the transfer window reopens.
Reports in Portugal now suggest, however, that Brendan Rodgers has taken an interest in the 22 year old Sporting star.
He supposedly sees Carvalho as the long term replacement for Steven Gerrard.
The former England captain’s contract expires at the end of the season, and Liverpool might not renew it.
Carvalho has a £37 million release clause written into his contract.