If Arsenal is going to do business buying a defensive midfielder today, it has to be William Carvalho going by news reports coming out of Portugal. The strength of this link to Arsenal becomes fortified by one thing or another, day by day. From Portugal came a report yesterday that, Arsenal are now considered favourites to sign William Carvalho, after Sporting Lisbon decided to cash-in on the midfielder. This news though interesting, may turn reality or even sour for the teeming Arsenal fans that have taken to social media expressing their hopes, sharing links to the 22-year-old’s performances on video and quoting different pundits on his sterling qualities.
According to the report by Portuguese newspaper Record, the Sporting Lisbon chiefs have held an emergency meeting to discuss the clubs precarious financial position and it was decided they have no option but to sell Carvalho to the highest bidder. Reports say, the club’s desperation to sell as a result of their financial situation, has forced them to sell at ‘substantially’ below his £37m buy-out fee. Now, here comes the catch! The report continues: ‘As long as the buying club are prepared to pay the entire fee upfront and not spread it over instalments’. The player is said to be part-owned by an investment company that has 50% stake in the transfer fee, if the deal happens, meaning if an agreement is reached with a club for £37m, only £18.5m would go to the club. Even though the Portuguese paper has put Arsenal the most likely destination of the player and a lot of Arsenal fans believe now in the financial status of the club, it is still possible for the deal to be off in no distant time. An objective view of the report makes it a 50%-50% chance of the midfielder playing at Arsenal next season.
Firstly, Arsenal is not the only financially buoyant club being notified of this situation; so, one should expect competitors in the quest to secure the Angolan-born player’s signature. You’ll never know how financially strong a club like Southampton is, until you find out they are ready to spend all they made in the transfer summer, on replacements. Also, how exactly the club means by the ‘substantial’ in the report, we may never know. They are said to be in need of cash to help pay bills and fund a replacement. Therefore, if Sporting Lisbon drops the transfer fee ‘substantially’ to say, below £30m, then they would be left with £15m after paying the 50% stake on the player off. The question then would be what value are the bills they have to pay and what replacement they are looking to have for the midfielder. Lastly, even if Arsenal are cash-strong at the moment, could Wenger pay up to £30m in advance (at once), for a 22-year-old defensive midfielder, when he can give Francis Coquelin, Abou Diaby or even Calum Chambers the nod to own or grow into the combative midfielder’s role? The answers to these questions may never come to us, but in the next few weeks, we would be back to make our deductions and assumptions again.
Wenger may have to wait on, to check the Sami Khedira situation as the other alternative, Morgan Schneiderlin, seems off the radar at the moment.