Reports in the Portuguese media claim Sporting will stick to their guns and not budge on their valuation of young forward Tiago Tomas.
The 18-year-old is tied to the Verde e brancos until the summer of 2025. He has a release clause of £52m in his contract but it seemed as though they were initially willing to accept much less.
A report in February suggested Arsenal technical director Edu was closing in on a deal for just £20m. It was thought that financial constraints caused by the pandemic meant they would reduce their demands.
But it soon emerged that was not the case and the Primeira Liga table-toppers still want top dollar for the starlet. Italian outlet Gazzetta Dello Sport praised the teenager’s ability earlier this week and namechecked Arsenal in the piece, according to Sport Witness.
And Portuguese newspaper A Bola responded on Saturday, warning any interested suitor that his valuation still stands. They state that Sporting won’t give in ‘one millimetre’ as they have ‘big faith’ in his future.
It is not known if the Gunners will pursue their interest in the summer but it is clear he will not come cheap. Having come up through Sporting’s youth ranks, Tomas made his first-team debut in July 2020.
He made five appearances last term but has racked up 25 in the league this term, with 14 starts. The Portugal Under-21 ace has bagged three goals and enjoyed 36 outings in all competitions.
Despite his tender years, he is already established as a important part of Ruben Amorim’s side.
Tomas swoop to make up for Ronaldo disaster
Cristiano Ronaldo starred for Manchester United before his switch to Real Madrid and eventually Juventus. But the Portugal legend could have been plying his trade at the Emirates instead of Old Trafford.
Last year former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed how United hijacked the Gunners’ chances of signing Ronaldo in 2003. And the north Londoners want to ensure that another young talent from the same country does not slip through the net.
But, as ever, finances will play a huge part in proceedings. It is unlikely that Arsenal chiefs will sanction a £50m outlay on such a young player.
Mikel Arteta will have other options available. And on Saturday it emerged that they are likely to bid for Real Betis midfielder Guido Rodriguez ‘within a month’.
The 27-year-old moved to Spain from his native Argentina in January 2020 and signed a four-year deal. And reports suggest his £70m release clause could be a basis for negotiations over a much lower fee.