Arsene Wenger is keen to bring William Carvalho to Arsenal but is reluctant to meet the player's £37 million release clause, reports The Daily Mail.
Widespread reports claim that Arsenal are ready to go back to Sporting Lisbon with a straight £24 million cash deal. Their original offer of the same value was apparently rejected because Sporting were unhappy with the installment plan the Gunners had laid out.
However, Sporting Lisbon director Augusto Ignacio hinted that players will only be leaving the Portuguese outfit if a club meets their release clause. Such a revelation would leave Arsenal facing a £37 million bill to land Carvalho.
Quoted in the same report, Ignacio said: "It’s not like the old days when players left Sporting at any price.
"The termination clause ensures a great deal for Sporting. I am very pleased with the negotiations."
With Carvalho's stock rising higher every time he steps on the pitch, it would be no surprise to see Sporting hold out for the maximum fee. That would be enough to put of Wenger, who simply doesn't believe Carvalho would represent value for money at that price.
Manchester United interest
When David Moyes was in charge at Old Trafford, there seemed to be a Manchester United scout at a Sporting game every week. The Sunday People reported that Moyes was willing to secure Carvalho's signature before the World Cup by meeting the £37 million clause.
Moyes never got that far and was sacked just weeks after the original report came out. Now interest from Manchester United appears to have died down giving Wenger a free run at the player.
Driving down the price
Wenger is now trying to convince Sporting to sell the player for around £24 million and knows he faces little competition from other parties. However, the fact that 40 per cent of Carvalho's rights is owned by a third party could represent a serious hurdle in negotiations.
What is clear is that Carvalho has serious talent. He has already been likened to Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira, making the link to Arsenal a natural one. A defensive midfielder seems to be on top of Wenger's list with a new centre-back also likely to come in should Thomas Vermaelen leave.