Report: Arsenal agree to sign Carvalho after Sporting drop asking price

The Gunners are said to be close to agreeing a deal for a player that has long been linked to the Emirates.

Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho is a gifted defensive player who has long been on the radar of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, among many other top European teams, but according to reports in the Telegraph based on a story from Portuguese paper O Jago, a deal to move to North London is close to happening.

The Telegraph quote O Jago as saying a fee of £21.5 million has been agreed with Arsenal, a significant reduction from the £30 million Sporting had earlier demanded for their young star. Manchester United had also been previously linked with the midfielder, but it is the Gunners who are said to be winning the chase.

Until official anything comes out from either club, it is likely this proposed transfer will remain rooted in the rumours section, however, it is possible that Arsenal are in discussions with the Superliga side regarding Carvalho's availability. 

The 23-year-old has grown in stature in Lisbon this year, even though Sporting are likely to finish a position lower than they managed last season.

Carvalho has managed 38 games for the Lions, and has added to his caps for Portugal, which currently stand at 12.

Arsenal's need for a defensive midfielder has subsided somewhat with the superb performances of Francis Coquelin this year, but with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini both moving into the twilight of their careers, a second quality option to play defensive midfield would be a big bonus to the squad.

The Portugal international's ability to fill in in central defence would also be a big bonus for Arsene Wenger, who only has three specialised central defenders in his first team squad.

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