Arsenal close to agreeing Carvalho deal

Arsenal are close to reaching an agreement to sign Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder William Carvalho, according to the Metro.

The 22-year-old has reportedly been a major target for Manchester United and Real Madrid after some standout performances for Sporting last season as they finished runners-up to Benfica and qualified for the group stage of the Champions League.

However, it is Arsenal who now appear to be in pole position to sign Carvalho after Sporting put him up for sale in order to raise funds. The Gunners have recently had a £24m bid rejected, while his buyout clause stands at £37m, but Arsenal will now feel that they have a strong chance of securing a deal.

Last season was Carvalho’s first in the Sporting first-team, despite having been at the club since 2011. Upon his return from his two-year loan spell with Cercle Brugge in Belgium, he went on to make 34 appearances and score four goals.

Rated by many as one of the best players currently in Portuguese football, Carvalho would be a key signing for Arsenal, who have been looking for a holding midfield player throughout the summer. Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere have deputised in the role for the past two seasons, but are more attack-minded.

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