Arsenal are ready to press on with their interest in Sporting CP starlet Joelson Fernandes, according to reports in Portugal.
Joelson has emerged as one of the most promising players to emerge from Sporting’s famous academy in recent years. The teenager made his first team debut this month at the age of just 17.
The winger already has a high price tag, despite his lack of experience. Sporting have inserted a €45m release clause into his contract.
The Portuguese giants are trying to extend Joelson’s contract, potentially raising the clause. However, with several big clubs in Europe ready to pounce, they may not be able to keep hold of him much longer.
Reports have credited Arsenal with an interest in the player, whose agent Kia Joorabchian has strong ties to the Gunners. And A Bola claim that Arsenal’s interest has taken a step forward in recent days.
The report says Arsenal are willing to activate Joelson’s release clause to beat the likes of Juventus and Barcelona to his signature. The Gunners are said to be the most interested.
It appears that Sporting’s contract talks have been in vain, as A Bola believe an exit for Joelson is becoming more likely. And if he is to leave, the Emirates may be his most likely destination.
A Bola add that Juventus are concerned by the steep release clause, whereas Arsenal would be willing to meet it. Barcelona appear to be the main competition for Arsenal, but the report claims the Gunners still have the edge.
Further contract talks with Sporting could be pivotal to determine Joelson’s future. Joorabchian and Sporting are yet to agree on what to raise his release clause to if he was to sign an extension to his current deal, which expires in 2022.
Sporting have wanted to lift it as high as €100m, but Joorabchian wants it to stay lower. The agent is pushing for a clause of €60m if Joelson does stay in Lisbon.