The deal which saw Danny Welbeck make a controversial switch from Manchester United to Arsenal late last night is the talk of the town this morning, but it may not have been the only major deal the two clubs were trying to engineer.
The late bids for Carvalho
According to the Daily Express, which cites reports from Portugal, both Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger made late efforts to land rising star William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon.
The playmaker was heavily linked with a Premier League move early on in the transfer window, only for interest to cool throughout August after he confirmed that he wasn’t looking to leave.
However it would appear that United and Arsenal were given some sort of hope of signing him, as they attempted to make headway in the last minute of the transfer window.
Carvalho has a £37 million release clause embedded in a contract which expires next summer, though Sporting would have been prepared to accept significantly less than that sum as it means that they forego the risk of losing him for free at the end of this campaign.
No need for Arsenal alarm
Naturally the fans of Arsenal and United may be disappointed, but there’s hardly cause for major concern. The Gunners boast a wealth of talent in central midfield, and it was defensive additions which Wenger will no doubt have been hoping to bring in.
The arrival of Calum Chambers has bolstered Arsenal's back four, but the fact remains that having sold Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona Wenger is short when it comes to options in the heart of his defence. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny remain the first-choice pairing but if either one of them is injured or unavailable then it could spell trouble.
Furthermore the sale of Ignasi Miquel yesterday had fans expecting Wenger to announce a defensive addition of his own, though Welbeck was the only player to come into the fold during the last few hours of the window.
Meanwhile United cushioned any blow they may have felt by sanctioning hearty outlays to take both Radamel Falcao and Daley Blind to the club, topping off an unbelievable few days which also saw Angel di Maria become a Red Devils player. That trio join the likes of Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, as Van Gaal aims to overturn a rocky start to the season by getting a few wins under his belt.
Will either club massively miss the services of Carvalho? Probably not. Could he make a move to England’s top flight in January? You bet.