Arsenal's already superb summer transfer window could be about to get a whole lot better. The club reportedly has a great chance to sign William Carvalho. The Sporting Lisbon midfield destroyer would be perfect for the Gunners.
Portuguese publication Record (h/t Daily Star writer Chisanga Malata) has reported that Carvalho has been officially declared available for transfer by Sporting. The report goes further, suggesting the Gunners can complete the transfer by the end of next week:
According to reports, the Gunners are on the verge of signing Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had a £24m bid for the Portugal star rejected last week by Sporting, who insisted that Carvalho would not be sold unless his £37m buy-out clause was met.
Record also claim the Gunners are now back in for the 22-year-old, and could sign him by the end of next week.
That would represent a tremendous coup for Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger. The speedy deal would finally give him the midfield powerhouse successive squads have lacked.
Pure physical dominance in the middle is the best way to describe Carvalho's game. He's a robust and fierce tackler who never shies away from a battle.
That's something Arsenal haven't really had since the days when Patrick Vieira was bossing proceedings as the focal point of Wenger's midfield. When Vieira was sold in 2005 and Gilberto Silva headed for the exit in 2008, Arsenal lost the power needed to make their silky passing work in the rugged Premier League.
Wenger tried to get it back. Mathieu Flamini was a willing terrier for one season in 2007/08. Things didn't work out with Lassana Diarra while consistent injuries stifled Abou Diaby.
But Carvalho can give Arsenal back the proverbial steel Wenger has been searching for. The proposed fees discussed are certainly steep, particularly for a 22-year-old 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. Stacked up against Arsenal's struggles to win the fight in the biggest games, Carvalho is a worthy investment.
The Gunners have been routinely unable to seize possession and overpower the Premier League's elite. That failing was most painfully exposed during last season's 6-0 away defeat to Chelsea.
Muscle men such as Nemanja Matic and David Luiz simply swarmed all over pocket-edition playmakers like Santi Cazorla that day. Wenger has to find a way to stem the tide in the biggest games.
Playing veteran Spaniard Mikel Arteta in a holding role has been a smart stopgap move. But that's all it is.
Now, it's time to find a true linchpin at the base of midfield who will win the right for schemers such as Cazorla and Mesut Ozil to play. Signing Carvalho represents the perfect solution.