Reported Arsenal target Eric Dier will not renew his contract with Sporting Lisbon according to reports.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola claims an extension until the summer of 2018 will not be signed, and with the England under-21 international’s current deal expiring in 2016, that could see him move on this summer.
Dier has been linked with Arsenal for the last year, with his versatility a possible deciding factor in any future move.
The 20-year-old plays predominantly as a centre-back, but he is also comfortable as a right-back or as a defensive midfielder. Indeed there were some suggestions that he could fill the latter role at Sporting if – as expected – William Carvalho moves on in the near future.
But it now appears Dier could be the one heading for a swift exit, with a long list of reported suitors in his homeland.
The young player has starred for England’s under-21s in recent times and could be set for a permanent return to the country after a brief loan spell to Everton back in 2011.
He will have to go some to break up the partnership of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. But with Bacary Sagna departing and Thomas Vermaelen tipped to follow, there could be a space in the Arsenal squad to fill.
And with age on his side, Dier could take the first tentative steps to become the next great English Arsenal defender.