Premier League • England

Arsenal swoop in for surprise Fabio Vieira deal, swerving Porto release clause to seal £8m discount

Fabio Vieira, Porto May 2022

Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira with a deal in place and a medical booked, a report has claimed.

The Gunners are looking to kick on next season after falling agonisingly short of Champions League football next season. They have only confirmed one signing so far, with midfield and a new striker key priorities.

While Granit Xhaka and, more recently Mohamed Elneny, have signed contract extensions in the midfield, they are only for the short term.

Reports from several outlets, chiefly transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano, consequently claim that Arsenal have agreed a deal to add Porto’s rising star Vieira to their ranks.

Romano claims that Arsenal will pay a total of €40million (£34.1million) for the midfielder. He had a release clause of €50million (£42.6million), but the Gunners decided to negotiate with Porto.

And that tactic has worked, with Arsenal netting an £8million discount on their new arrival.

The north London club have offered €35million up front and then a further €5million in potential add-ons to Porto.

Romano adds in another tweet that Vieira will sign an Arsenal contract until 2027. He will undergo his medical on Friday following a holiday in Greece. What’s more, he ‘dreams’ of playing Premier League football.

Arsenal close to Fabio Vieira signing

Meanwhile, O Jogo reports that super-agent Jorge Mendes, who has influence across Europe, got the ball rolling on the deal ‘a few weeks ago’.

The Athletic claims that Gunners boss Mikel Arteta drove interest from the club’s end.

The Spanish manager has reportedly been outlining his admiration of the player for ‘months’ to Arsenal.

Vieira, 22, has risen through Porto’s youth ranks to become a centrepiece of the team.

After breaking through in the 2019/20 season, he established himself in the first team in the following campaign.

And in the most recent season, Vieira starred with seven goals and 16 assists in all competitions. One of those assists came against Liverpool in the Champions League group stages, with the bulk of his contributions coming in the league.

Vieira could also soon break into the senior Portugal ranks if he settles well at Arsenal. He has scored 13 goals in 20 Portugal Under-21 appearances.

As well as playing as an attacking midfielder, he can play as a false nine and in the centre of midfield.

Portuguese league produces once again

Vieira is the latest in a host of players to have made the move from Portugal to the Premier League – or have strong links with the English top flight.

Going back to the 2019/20 season, Bruno Fernandes arrived at Manchester United from Sporting and enjoyed a fantastic debut season.

Last term, Liverpool signed Luis Diaz from Porto and he has had an instant impact in Jurgen Klopp’s team.

They therefore kept their eyes on the Portuguese top flight and have now paid what could become a club-record fee to sign striker Darwin Nunez from Benfica.

With Vieira to move into Arsenal’s midfield ranks, Fulham and Wolves are fighting elsewhere for Sporting midfielder Joao Palhinha.

The Portuguese league has produced some top players in recent seasons and Arsenal will hope their latest acquisition can add to the trend.