Premier League • England

Arsenal eye ambitious £146m double transfer coup but face competition from Liverpool and Newcastle

Ben Stewart
Arsenal are keeping tabs on Porto forward Evanilson

Arsenal are keeping tabs on Porto forward Evanilson

Arsenal and Newcastle scouts were present at Porto’s latest game to watch a couple of their prized assets, according to the latest reports.

It’s no secret that Arsenal will be after a new striker in the upcoming window as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his attacking options.

While the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah are useful enough strikers, neither of them have been at the top of their game this season.

Jesus has managed to score eight goals across all competitions while Nketiah has scored just five. Bukayo Saka has scored the bulk of Arsenal’s goals this year, although even he hasn’t managed as many as Porto forward Evanilson.

The Brazilian star has scored an impressive 22 goals up until this point while also providing six assists. Across all competitions, he’s averaging a goal contribution every 97.9 minutes.

According to HITC, Arsenal and Newcastle scouts were present at Porto’s clash with Estoril over the weekend. It’s thought that they were especially keeping close tabs on Evanilson, who has been in red-hot form this season.

The Brazilian forward didn’t have his best game over the weekend as Porto lost 1-0 to Estoril. However, he is enjoying a good season on the whole.

Arsenal will be well aware that Evanilson has a £86m release clause within his contract, although it is thought that Porto would be willing to accept a slightly lower fee.

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Arsenal keeping tabs on another Porto star

Along with scouting Evanilson, the same report also claims that the Gunners have been keeping tabs on Alan Varela. The Argentine midfielder has also impressed for Porto this time around.

Varela predominately plays as a defensive midfielder and this is also a key position that Arsenal are looking to upgrade in the summer.

Given the long-term future of Thomas Partey and Jorginho is up in the air, a player like Varela could be a viable option to replace either of them.

At 22 years old, the Argentine midfielder still has the best years ahead of him yet. His contract is valid until 2028, although the deal is believed to contain a £60m release clause.

In the league this season, Varela has made 23 appearances and has produced five goal contributions in that time. He also averages 1.1 tackles and takes 1.1 shots per game.

Along with Arsenal and Newcastle, Liverpool have also been keeping tabs on the 22-year-old midfielder. Last month TEAMtalk sources confirmed that Varela is a ‘key target’ for the Reds.

If Arsenal end up triggering the release clauses of both Evanilson and Varela, they could pay as much as £146m for the pair. However, they will no doubt and try and negotiate a better deal, if they do decide to pursue both players.

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