With reports of Arsenal’s €30 bid for William Carvalho having been revealed few days ago by a Portuguese daily, there are now interesting development regarding the financial situation at Sporting Lisbon which could work to Arsenal’s favour.
With the club heavily in debt following the money it borrowed to build it new stadium and the cash crunch in Portugal, the club is said to be reportedly in a €375 million worth of debt and have suffered a loss for 12 of the last 14 years, added to that, the increase of the income tax on high earners in Portugal met the club had to increase it tickets and gate fees which has resulted in low attendances as ticket sales declined by over 20% in the last four years. The pressure of the debt meant that the past president of the club had to sell his stake in Sporting Lisbon.
What does this all mean for Arsenal’s pursuit of William Carvalho? With the Portuguese report stating that the €30 million bid was not rejected out rightly that the sticking point remains how the payment would be structured with the Lisbon club wanting a full payment upfront so as to get hold of a substantial amount in the transfer because of third party ownership.
Such scenario has played out in Arsenal’s favour before, where the financial situation at Malaga met Arsenal benefited from the sale of Santi Cazorla in 2012. Although, the situation at Sporting Lisbon has not gotten to the level of Malaga where the owner’s withdrawal of it financial backing led to constraint.
With this in mind, despite the €45 million buyout clause in William Carvalho’s contract at Sporting Lisbon, Arsenal can still drive a hard bargain to get this deal done. With the much touted financial power having been raised up by Ivan Gazidis and the financial reports showing that the club is cash rich and Sporting Lisbon in turn in need of cash, a compromise can indeed be reached in this transfer situation. With Manchester United being the other club interested in the defensive midfielder, the transfer could be a long drawn out one going by the development so far.
The revelation of bid by Portuguese daily Ojogo could have been a ploy by the Lisbon club to create a bidding war for the midfielder because of their financial situation, with other clubs looking elsewhere for their transfer target; the door could be left open for a potential move for the 22 year old.