Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed the club are on the brink of signing Nigerian youngsters Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze in a £3 million swoop.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round fixture against Burnley, the Gunners chief said negotiations are "progressing well" and a deal is close to completion, per the Mirror's Jacob Murtagh:
The (talks) are progressing well.
Yes of course there are work permit issues. There are medical issues, because they have to make medicals. It’s progressing well.
We identified Nwakali as the player of the tournament, basically, and as a top player. We will see if we can manage to get it over the line during this transfer period. [If we can], we will do it. He (Chukwueze) is signing as well.
The tournament Wenger referred to was last year's FIFA Under-17 World Cup, where Nwakali featured as the standout performer and captained Nigeria to the title, their third in the past five stagings of the competition.
While Nwakali took the tournament's Golden Ball award, Chukwueze, 16, claimed the Bronze Boot after finishing with three goals and three assists to his name.
Arsenal fans may not get their hopes up about any more January business, however, after the Guardian's David Hytner reported the pair will be the Gunners' last signings of the winter transfer window.
Their deals are far from over the finish line as things stand, though, and All Nigeria Soccer alleged Nwakali will only be able to sign a professional contract when he turns 18 on June 5:
Kelechi Nwakali can only sign a pre-contract with a view to a pro deal when he turns 18 in the summer. Can only train with Arsenal. (2)— AllNigeriaSoccer (@Editor_ANS) January 25, 2016
Despite the panic over a lack of summer business last year, Wenger is proving his current squad might have the depth needed to launch a title bid, lying three points off leaders Leicester City as things stand.
ESPN's Colin Udoh recently confirmed Nwakali was en route to England's capital to push through the remaining details of his deal, looking to follow in the footsteps of Arsenal great and compatriot Nwankwo Kanu:
U17 World Cup winner Kelechi Nwakali flying out to England tonight to sign a contract with you-know-who. . .— Colin NOT Collins (@ColinUdoh) January 28, 2016
Both Nwakali and Chukwueze both currently represent Diamond Football Academy in Umuahia, Nigeria, and would look to one day strengthen Arsenal's attack.
While Nwakali operates in a creative No. 10 role, Chukwueze is more at home out wide, where he can seek to use his ample pace to his advantage. Nwakali would also bring a set-piece threat, as was witnessed in Nigeria's 4-2 win over Mexico in the semi-finals of last year's U-17 World Cup:
Wenger clearly feels his first-team ranks are sufficiently stocked that he can return his attention to securing Arsenal's future talents, but Nwakali and Chukwueze aren't exactly cheap at an average cost of £1.5 million each.
Given their age, those price tags could be considered a big pressure for the duo to live up to, but there's a lot for fans to be excited for given what's been seen of the attackers thus far.