Arsenal are beginning to “test the patience” of the Sporting Lisbon board after a second bid for winger Joelson Fernandes fell short of his valuation, according to a report.
Speculation has linked Arsenal with a move for the 17-year-old in recent months as Mikel Arteta begins his rebuild.
Indeed, despite Arsenal proposing 55 club redundancies, their focus on first-team investment will not diminish.
Previous reports claimed the Gunners made an initial bid of €20million (£18million), with Joelson’s release clause set at €40million (£36milion). Sporting rejected that bid, demanding more.
According to A Bola (via Sport Witness), Arsenal have pressed on with their interest but continue to play hardball over a deal. The source says the north London side’s second bid has also fallen short of his exit clause.
As such, Sporting’s patience is reportedly beginning to run thin as other clubs show their interest.
Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund have also registered a €20million bid, A Bola says, with Juventus watching on.
Nevertheless, Arsenal’s interest remains watertight and they are in “constant contact” with Kia Joorabchian. The influential agent has enjoyed a growing influence in the club’s proceedings of late.
What’s more, the Gunners are reportedly willing to trigger the €40million release clause in the event of Dortmund or Juventus stepping up their interest.
Sporting had initially hoped to increase Joelson’s release clause by tying him down to a new deal. The teenager’s current terms expire in the summer of 2022.
The Portuguese club had agreed to lower their ambitions to a £72million clause, but the player’s representatives disagree and it is therefore unlikely both sides will strike a deal.
ARSENAL CLOSE TO WILLIAN DEAL?
Meanwhile, Arsenal are reportedly close to signing Chelsea winger Willian on a three-year deal.
Sky Sports claims the deal is edging nearer to completion, with the Brazilian keen to join Arteta’s project.
Willian’s deal at Stamford Bridge will expire when their Champions League campaign comes to an end. Frank Lampard’s side face Bayern Munich in the second leg of their last-16 tie on Saturday, 3-0 down from the first leg.