Arsenal will enlist the help of influential agent Kia Joorabchian in the coming days to wrap up deal for Sporting Lisbon youngster Joelson Fernandes, according to a report.
Several reports in recent weeks have linked the Gunners with a move for the 17-year-old winger. The Portugal Under-17 international, a Sporting academy graduate, made his first-team debut earlier this season.
Joelson’s current contract, which features a €45million (£40million) release clause, expires in two years and, as such, Sporting have worked in recent months to extend his deal and increase his exit clause.
However, A Bola claims the club and Joelson’s agent are poles apart on the value of the potential fee.
Sporting initially wanted the winger to be worth €100million (£91million) but have reduced that to €80million (£72million).
Joelson’s representatives want the figure to be lower still and, therefore, it looks unlikely the two sides will agree.
Therefore, the Portuguese newspaper (via Sport Witness) adds that Arsenal will look to swoop in and seal a deal.
They will entrust club officials, as well as super-agent Joorabchian, to “close the deal” on Monday or Tuesday.
Should the report be true, it remains unclear how the talks will take place. While the UK has lifted quarantine restrictions for several nations amid the pandemic, Portugal is not among them.
In any case, the Gunners reportedly believe the “safe bet” of paying Joelson’s current release will pay off when he is worth more in the years to come.
Arsenal have upped their interest amid Barcelona and Juventus also tracking the player. The north London side want to “put an end” to their rivals’ interest with their own deal.
Joorabchian has a strong influence at Arsenal and was involved in fractious talks to extend David Luiz’s contract.
ARTETA LINES UP LIST OF ARSENAL TARGETS?
The latest report comes after claims Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has compiled a list of attacking targets amid uncertainty over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future.
The Gabon international has entered the final year of his deal, with the club in talks about an extension.
Despite Arteta saying he is confident the striker will stay, the club have not yet reached a conclusion.
As such, further speculation claims Arteta has lined up a shortlist of potential targets.