Arsenal are hoping to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho in the current transfer window, but have been told it will take an offer in excess of £25 million, reports The Mail on Sunday.
The Gunners are primarily looking to sign a central defender in the January transfer window with Arsene Wenger already confirming his scouts are working hard to find reinforcements.
Mathieu Debuchy has been ruled out for three months after dislocating his shoulder and Laurent Koscielny has been troubled with chronic achilles problems. But a forceful midfielder has long been the proverbial achilles heel for Arsenal.
Next Patrick Vieira
Carvalho has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of Arsenal's last truly great midfielder in Patrick Vieira and has been linked with a move to Chelsea and Manchester United in the recent past.
Arsenal's need for a defensive midfielder is greater than that of their rivals and Wenger wants to take advantage by agreeing a deal in the transfer window. That would not just shock their Premier League counterparts but also the Arsenal fans, who have come to expect a quiet mid-season window from their team.
Fourth place fight
The Gunners are now struggling to qualify for fourth place and Wenger seems growingly worried from the threat of Southampton, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool. Manchester City and Chelsea are virtual guarantees for the Champions League spots, meaning some big clubs will miss out.
Carvalho could add significant quality to the Arsenal midfield with the spot currently filled with former misfit Francis Coquelin. Mikel Arteta is out for three months and Mathieu Flamini's form has been questionable.
Sporting have warned Arsenal they will not let their star man go for less than £25 million.