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Transfer news: ‘Arsenal-fan’ midfielder to cost Wenger £35m
Arsene Wenger will now have to part with a cool £35m if he wants to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho this summer.
The 23-year-old has long been linked with a move to Arsenal with the media tipping him to join us throughout the last three transfer windows but the boss has never pulled the trigger with a formal move.
Once again, the Mirror suggest that Carvalho is being lined-up as a long-term replacement for Mikel Arteta – who’s set to move in to a coaching role when his contract expires in June.
However, the Portuguese international’s price-tag just went up as Sporting Lisbon have confirmed that Carvalho has signed a new contract until 2020 with his buy-out increasing to around £35m (€45m).
A statement on Sporting’s website read:
“Under the terms and for the purposes of compliance with the reporting requirements stemming from Article 248 , paragraph 1 al. a) of the Securities Code, the Board of Directors of Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD announces that the athlete William Carvalho Silva extended his contract with Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol SAD until the season 2019/2020, settling the termination clause in €45,000,000.00 (forty- five million euros).”
Carvalho’s previous buy-out fee was believed to be set at nearer £29m so Wenger is now going to have to shell out another £6m if he wants to finally land the midfielder this summer.
Despite the arrival of Mohamed Elneny in January, we’ll need to bring in another central midfielder as Flamini and Rosicky are set to join Arteta in leaving the club when their contracts expire in June.
Carvalho is a powerful player who has all the attributes needed to be a top midfielder, and he recently admitted that he was an Arsenal fan, which certainly goes in his favour.
He is quoted by the Mirror as saying in October:
“I am where I want to be right now, which is Sporting, but if I ever do leave then it’s a sign that my work here was well done.
“I dream of winning the Primeira Liga here.
“I prefer not to say too much, but there is a club with which I’ve always been fond of: Arsenal. Because of Thierry Henry, a player with whom I have always enjoyed watching.
“Maybe this is why I look with so much affection to the Premier League.”
So, has Carvalho signed this new deal just to get higher wages and guarantee Lisbon a better deal when he’s sold? Perhaps. Should we pay £35m for him this summer? Probably not.
It would be a huge price to pay for someone who is yet to prove himself outside of Portugal and there will be better options available in the summer. Wenger wouldn’t pay that kind of money for a defensive midfielder anyway.