Arsenal Transfer News: Arsene Wenger Eyes Kelechi Nwakali, Samuel Chukwueze Deal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2016

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 05: Chhidiebere Nwakali (L) Elias Andersson and during the FIFA U-17 World cup UAE 2013 Semi Final match between  Sweden and Nigeria at Al Rashid Stadium on November 5, 2013 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)
Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images

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.

Nwakali (middle) celebrating Nigeria's triumph at the 2015 Under-17 World Cup.
Nwakali (middle) celebrating Nigeria's triumph at the 2015 Under-17 World Cup.-/Getty Images

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:

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:

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.