Chelsea are poised to make a €44 million bid for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho who has been linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea in recent months, according to reports in Portugal.
The talented youngster has long been linked with Premier League having earned rave reviews for his performances with Sporting Lisbon over the past year and then Portugal at the World Cup this summer.
Manchester United were the first to show their interest in the 22-year-old while David Moyes was still in charge at Old Trafford. He was scouted regularly throughout last season but the Red Devils failed to firm up their interest, which has now opened the door for rival clubs to make their move.
Arsenal were said to be looking at Carvalho as an alternative to Sami Khedira, who Gunners boss Arsene Wenger deemed to be too expensive. The midfielder has a release clause written into his contract worth around €45 million, but Arsenal were said to be hopeful of landing him for much less than that, while his wage packet of around €10,00-per-week in Portugal also made him an attractive option for the north London side.
However it now seems as though Chelsea could swoop to steal the young midfielder from Manchester United and Arsenal, with Portuguese newspaper A Bola claiming, while citing 'British sources', that a €44 million bid from Stamford Bridge is imminent. It was reported over the weekend that Chelsea had sent scouts to watch him in action, and now it seems they are ready to firm up their interest.
Chelsea have plenty of options in midfield as things stand, although that could all change. Marco van Ginkel could go out on loan according to his agent, while John Obi-Mikel could be sold. Blues boss Jose Mourinho has already confirmed that he needs to sell one foreign player in order to meet Premier League regulations - of course replacing Mikel with Carvalho would negate the Nigerian's sale and leave the Special One still needing to ditch another player. Reports suggest that man could well be Fernando Torres.
Should Chelsea beat Manchester United and Arsenal to Carvalho, it would represent another blow for both clubs following Cesc Fabregas' switch from Barcelona earlier this summer. All three clubs were in the running for the Spaniard but the Blues won out, and he showed his class in their 3-1 over Burnley last night.
While he was doing that, Manchester United are still in the market for a midfielder but look unlikely to land their top target Arturo Vidal, having lost their season opener against Swansea on Saturday. Arsenal also appear to be in the market for a central midfielder, and have been linked with Morgan Schneiderlin and Lars Bender along with Khedira and Carvalho.