Arsenal are poised to announce their first signing of the January window after agreeing a fee with Legia Warsaw for the transfer of highly-rated defensive midfielder Krystian Bielik.
This is according to Polish website Przeglad Sportowy, who understand that the Poland Under-16 international will soon be confirmed as an Arsenal player after negotiations between the two clubs were finalised.
It was reported on Tuesday that Arsenal had submitted an improved £2.4 million offer for the 17-year-old, whose playing style has drawn comparisons with Gunners’ legend Patrick Vieira. And, following productive talks between officials at both clubs, the versatile 6ft 2in midfielder is now set to arrive at the Emirates Stadium to sign his contract.
Bielik to realise Arsenal dream
Bielik stated last week that he was intent on joining Arsenal this month, despite speculation linking him with a move to Bundesliga side Hamburg.
"I’ve made a decision [to join Arsenal] and I’m not going to change it," he told reporters. "I am looking forward to an agreement between the heads of the clubs. I realise that the negotiations may take some time.
"I am, however, confident it will happen soon."
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Bielik to make Arsenal debut this season?
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is understood to have lured Bielik to the Emirates Stadium with the promise that he will train with the Gunners’ first-team stars.
It’s possible that Wenger will hand the player first-team opportunities in the second half of this season, with the Gunners still competing in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.
Wenger addresses major Arsenal weakness
Pundits have often cited the lack of physical presence in the Gunners’ squad as one of the primary reasons why Arsenal often struggled in the big matches over recent years - but Wenger will hope that Bielik, once he fully matures, will provide the steel in midfield that his side have lacked since Vieira left the club in 2005.
While Legia Warsaw - who are managed by former Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United defender, Henning Berg - will be disappointed to see their prized asset leave the club, the Polish champions sell Bielik having made a significant profit.
Legia paid just £9,500 to sign the midfielder from Lech Poznan last July - but will receive a fee in excess of £2 million from Arsenal.