Arsenal are ready to make an improved £28 million offer for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho in the hope of beating Manchester United and Chelsea to the Portuguese starlet's signature.
The Daily Star reports that Arsene Wenger had hoped to lure Sami Khedira to the Emirates, but after Carlo Ancelotti confirmed the World Cup winner will remain at Real Madrid the Gunners boss has turned his attention back to Carvalho.
The 22-year-old has a whopping £37 million release clause written into his current contract at Estádio José Alvalade, but the Primeira Liga giants are believed to be willing to accept bids below that valuation.
Wenger is eager to recruit a defensive midfielder before the transfer window closes on September 1, and has identified Carvalho as the most viable option for Arsenal in the current market.
The Portugal international has attracted additional interest from Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, but the Gunners chief is confident he can convince the player to move to north London.
One concern might be the fact that the Red Devils have already done business with Sporting this summer, allowing Luis Nani to return to Portugal as part of the player-plus-cash deal that brought Argentine defender Marcos Rojo to Old Trafford last week.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's financial power means that they should always be considered a threat, but given Mourinho's wealth of midfield options at Stamford Bridge, it seems unlikely that he'll engage in a bidding war for Carvalho this summer.
It was reported last week by Goal.com that Arsenal have already had a £20 million bid for the player turned down, but they now look set to improve their offer by £8 million to get the deal done before the deadline.