Arsenal CLOSING IN on Portugal star wanted by Premier League rivals

Arsenal are set to beat off competition from Manchester United and Liverpool in the race to sign Sporting Lisbon youngster William Carvalho.

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According to the Daily Star, the Gunners will complete a £20m deal for the 23-year-old, after both of their Premier League rivals decided to pursue other targets.

The holding midfielder has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, after helping Portugal reach the final of the Under-21 European Championships. And while he missed the decisive penalty during their final defeat to Sweden, Carvalho was voted as the Player of the tournament.

His potential arrival would allow some the pressure to be taken off Francis Coquelin, who had to shoulder a lot of responsibility last season. His emergence, and subsequent success in the first-team highlighted the need for a tough-tackling force in the middle, the like of which has not been seen in north London since Patrick Vieira’s departure.

However, should the Frenchman get injured, Arsene Wenger has very few options available currently. Carvalho could well argue that he already has enough quality to go straight into the starting eleven, leaving Wenger the luxury of having Coquelin in the background.

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