Arsenal Transfer News: Kelechi Nwakali, Samuel Chukwueze Deals Reportedly Close

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2016

Nigeria's Kelechi Nwakali carries the Fifa Under-17 World Cup trophy on his head in the midst of a crowd gathered to receive the triumphant Nigeria U17 team, the Golden Eaglets, at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja, on November 11, 2015. Nigeria's Golden Eaglets emerged champions of the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Chile after defeating Mali 2-0. AFP PHOTO / STRINGER        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
-/Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly closing in on a deal to sign young Nigerian duo Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze, beating off competition from Bayern Munich.

According to Samm Audu on African Football, midfielder Nwakali, 17, and 16-year-old winger Chukwueze are set to sign long-term contracts at the Emirates.

The duo have been targeted by Bayern and described as "two of the world’s most talented youngsters," with Arsenal set to have to pay a "minimum combined fee of £3 million," per Gary Jacob in the Times.

Both were part of the Nigerian side that won the under-17 World Cup in the summer, with Nwakali skippering the Golden Eaglets and particularly impressing, per Nigerian football journalist Colin Udoh:

Per Audu's report, both are expected to be given professional contracts by the Gunners when they turn 18, with a source indicating that final arrangements are still to be ironed out:

"The players' visas to England are being processed and a party of seven including their legal guardians are expected this month in London to finalise their transfer to Arsenal."

The report added that Nwakali's brother, Chidiebere, is currently on the books at Manchester City, and Kelechi underwent trials with the Etihad outfit last year.

However, he previously revealed that Arsenal are his dream club, per Nigerian outlet MTN Football (via Metro's Jamie Sanderson):

"I would love to play for Arsenal. They are their Premier League club I will like to play for them because they play the best football in the world." 

Nwakali is seemingly set to get his wish in January along with Chukwueze. The pair both netted three times and provided three assists in their World Cup triumph in Chile, per FIFA.

Arsenal fans will undoubtedly be pleased that manager Arsene Wenger is looking to do some business in the January window and both players could be stars of the future in north London.

However, as discussed by Bleacher Report's Dean Jones and Sam Tighe recently, the Gunners have been linked with some more high-profile moves:

With the likes of Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere currently enduring long-term injury problems, Arsenal likely need to sign some more senior players if they are to maintain their Premier League title challenge until the end of the season.

While Nwakali and Chukwueze would be exciting signings for the future, they are unlikely to make a significant immediate impact, and thus Wenger needs to do some more business in January if he is to properly strengthen his squad in the short term.