Arsenal ready to trigger 17-year-old's release clause

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Arsenal finished their season with a flourish.

They may not have qualified for the Champions League or even the Europa League through their league finish, ending the season in eighth place.

They ultimately finished 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, but they did reach the FA Cup final.

They faced the Blues at Wembley and, true to form when it comes to their final record, they won, thanks to a brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

It means that Mikel Arteta’s side will be playing Europa League football next season, and that has surely strengthened their hand in transfer negotiations as they look to strengthen their squad.

And they are already looking at potential additions, with one wonderkid listed as a potential acquisition.

A Bola, via Sport Witness, has reported that an offer has already been made for a 17-year-old, with a high upside and a lot of potential. 

Indeed, the club are said to be interested in Sporting Lisbon’s Joelson Fernandes.

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An offer was made of €20 million (£18m), though it was rejected immediately; he has a €45m (£40.5m) release clause in his contract.

Fernandes has a contract until 2022 and has won caps for Portugal at U15, U16, and U17 level.

A versatile winger, who can operate on either flank, the teenager has been a regular for the U23 squad, making 28 appearances and scoring five goals, while registering two assists, but he has already made his pro debut for Sporting’s senior squad.

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He has made four appearances in total, including a 12 minute cameo against FC Porto.

Arsenal are said to be desperate to sign Fernandes, and will even trigger his release clause if they cannot agree a lower fee.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

This is intriguing but it feels a little reckless from Arsenal.

Spending over £40m on a 17-year-old with precious little senior experience just doesn’t make sense in the current market.

COVID-19 has clearly wreaked havoc on the finances of major clubs, and one has to think that there are better ways of spending such a fee, this summer in particular.

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Arsenal, after all, may need to replace striker Aubameyang, with rumours continuing to swirl over his future, and they will also need midfield reinforcements if they cannot convince Dani Ceballos to continue his loan spell.

Fernandes does not feel like a priority at this stage.

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