Chelsea have not made a £35million offer for William Carvalho, according to Sporting Lisbon – news that is likely to please Arsenal.
Talksport are running quoted from a spokesperson from the Portuguese club denying that Jose Mourinho’s club have made the first step in recruiting the talented defensive midfielder.
"This news [about Chelsea's offer] is not true. The club have not got any formal offer to our offices for the player,” said the spokesperson quoted in the report.
Lots of interest
Arsenal are another club that have been heavily linked with a possible move for the 22-year-old this summer as Arsene Wenger looks to reinforce his midfield options in front of the back four.
The involvement of Chelsea could have alarmed the Gunners as, even with their new found financial muscle, they would still struggle to compete on a similar level to their rivals across London when it comes to wages and transfer fee.
Previous reports have suggested that Wenger was interest in recruiting Carvalho this summer but was reluctant to meet the £37million buyout clause in his contract, which Sporting had reportedly pointed them towards after an enquiry was made with regards to his availability.
Chelsea’s interest seems puzzling due to the current options they have in their squad. Stamford Bridge legend Frank Lampard left for New York City FC, taking something of a controversial detour to Manchester City, and would normally have left a major hole in the middle of the team, but for Mourinho’s shrewd transfer activity.
Blues have options
Nemanja Matic was signed in January from Benfica and has been very impressive in the role of screening the defence and effecting transition from defensive play into attacks. Then Cesc Fabregas was recruited this summer from Barcelona and looked especially sharp during the 3-1 defeat of Burnley on Monday night in the Blues’ opening Premier League fixture of the 2014/15 season.
He and Oscar dovetailed well with Matic and showed versatility for staying deep and moving into attack. Meanwhile, Fabregas’ former club may be facing the prospect of only a single option for the role Carvalho would fulfil should he make the move to Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal injury concerns
Wenger’s side drew 0-0 with Turkish side Besiktas in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier and Mikel Arteta was forced off the pitch with an ankle injury early in the second half. Arsenal’s new captain was seen walking in a protective boot, which does not bode well for his availability in the short term.
Arteta has been a key man for Wenger since he arrived in 2011 from Everton and his transition into a deep-lying playmaker in front of the defence has been one of Wenger’s biggest successes as a coach.
He will be sorely missed if out long-term – Mathieu Flamini provides a more tenacious and combative game, but lacks Arteta’s vision – so a move for a youngster such as Carvalho would be timely.