Arsenal in talks for top Chelsea and United target, £20m bid rejected - report

Sporting Lisbon

Reports this afternoon suggest that Arsenal have seen a £20m bid for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho rejected.

Arsenal have had something of a shaky start to the new season, scraping past Crystal Palace on the opening day of the Premier League campaign was an injury time winner from Aaron Ramsey handed them a 2-1 victory, whilst the Gunners were poor in Tuesday night's Champions League qualifier against Besiktas, which ended 0-0.

The overriding feeling from the Besiktas game was that both Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere had struggled to really impose themselves on the game once again, adding more weight to the notion that manager Arsene Wenger needs to splash the cash on a true defensive midfielder.

The likes of Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) and Sami Khedira (Real Madrid) have been linked, but reports today suggest that the Gunners are in talks with Sporting Lisbon over a move for William Carvalho - but have had one bid rejected already.

Carvalho, 22, has earned a reputation over the past 12 months for being arguably the top young holding midfielder in Europe after fine displays in Portugal and at the World Cup, where he demonstrated his power, accurate passing and outstanding mentality - which helps him play far beyond his years, whilst his nasty edge would be welcomed in an Arsenal midfield which has often been criticised for a lack of physicality in recent years.

Those performances have reportedly attracted interest from other Premier League sides, with both Chelsea and Manchester United believed to be eyeing up bids for Carvalho having sent scouts to Portugal to watch the Angolan-born star - but it's Arsenal who have attempted to make the first move.

According to Goal, Arsenal have had an initial £20m bid for Carvalho rejected, but will continue to negotiate with Sporting, whose asking price is a reported £28m.

A complicated third-party contractual issue will rear its ugly head once again, as it did with another Sporting player on his way to England in Marcos Rojo. If Arsenal can work through that, as United did with Rojo, then they could be in a prime position to beat their Premier League rivals to one of the most highly rated players in Europe.

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