With report of Arsenal’s bid for 22 year old Sporting Lisbon defensive midfielder William Carvalho, other clubs have reportedly shown interest in the Portuguese midfielder, which is normal in the pursuit of a player as Arsenal had to overcome interest from other clubs to sign Alexis Sanchez. Chief of which was Premier League rivals Liverpool who was strongly interested in the Chilean. But in William Carvalho’s case, Manchester United are known to be the other club interested in him, with Arsenal’s bid having been made public by the Portuguese press, this article considers which of Arsenal and Manchester United have a better chance of signing him.
Firstly, it must be said that despite Arsenal’s participation in the Champion league next season, Manchester United strong affiliation to most Portuguese who have either played or coached at Old Trafford could play a part in swaying any transfer. With Carlos Quieroz being a former Portugal coach and former Manchester United assistant manager, then there is Cristano Ronaldo who won everything there is with Manchester United and Nani who still plays for the Old Trafford club.
However, despite the strong Portuguese affiliation to Old Trafford which could sway a transfer in their favour, as Sporting Lisbon has a pre-existing relationship with Manchester United following Cristano Ronaldo transfer in 2003. William Carvalho might seek advice from these players before making a decision on his future.
But going by William Carvalho past antecedent, he seem to have an independent mind going by the way he rejected Benfica as a 13 year old by holding out for move to his boyhood club Sporting Lisbon. On this basis, he might choose to make his own decision on his future by not seeking advice from anybody, because he is his own man.
In terms of the cosmopolitan nature of Arsenal’s squad, and with players like Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Arsene Wenger could be able to play a part in such a move especially with the role he played in the signing of Ozil and Sanchez when he spoke to both players personally.
From a football only perspective for this season, Arsenal’s participation in the Champions League, and Manchester United failure to qualify for Europe, could sway this transfer in Arsenal’s favour.
In the end, it will be a battle of wills in terms of the club that will be able to convince the rising star of Portuguese football to join up.