Arsenal in talks over swap deal for top Chelsea and Manchester United target - report

Sporting Lisbon

According to reports in Portugal, Arsenal are in negotiations with Sporting Lisbon over a deal for midfielder William Carvalho.

The Gunners have performed two late shows so far this season, first beating Crystal Palace thanks to an injury time strike from Aaron Ramsey, and then drawing level with Everton with a last gasp header from Olivier Giroud having been 2-0 down at Goodison Park.

Those displays, as well as the 0-0 draw with Besiktas in midweek, have led Arsenal fans to further believe that they have to sign a defensive midfielder before the transfer deadline in a week's time. Real Madrid's Sami Khedira, Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot and Wolfsburg's Luiz Gustavo have all been linked, but the top target still appears to be Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho - who has also been attracting interest from Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United.

The 22-year-old impressed for Sporting last season and followed that up at the World Cup despite Portugal's group stage exit, and it had previously been reported that Sporting were looking for around €45m (£36m) for the Angolan-born anchor man, but now they're ready to lower their demands.

Reports in Portugal today suggest that Sporting are willing to accept an offer between €30m and €35m (£24m-£28m), and Arsenal are locked in negotiations to sign the powerful midfield - with young players on offer to Sporting in a bid to seal the deal.

The Portuguese outfit sold Marcos Rojo to Manchester United last week for £16m plus Nani on loan, and a similar agreement could be in place for Carvalho. Four Arsenal youngsters have been identified as potential players involved in a part exchange deal; midfielder Francis Coquelin, striker Yaya Sanogo and wingers Serge Gnabry and Ryo Miyaichi.

Coquelin has recently been linked with a move to Queens Park Rangers, whilst Gnabry has been tipped to go out on loan for some time given the arrival of Alexis Sanchez at the Emirates Stadium. Miyaichi is well down the pecking order and appears to have no future in North London, but any move for Sanogo appears unlikely given how short Arsenal are at centre forward.

Coquelin and Miyaichi look the most likely right now, and if throwing in a young player or two on loan helps them secure a lower price for Carvalho, then it's hard to see Wenger and Arsenal saying no. Carvalho's positional awareness, strength and passing ability make him perfect to sit in front of the Arsenal back four for years to come - rather than stop gap players like Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini.

Would Carvalho solve Arsenal's midfield problems?

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