Arsenal have reportedly come back to Sporting Lisbon with a follow-up offer for Joelson Fernandes after their first one was rejected, according to A Bola.
The Portuguese outlet claims that the Gunners’ first bid of €20m (around £18m) for the 17-year-old winger was turned down.
Now, Arsenal are believed to have made a second offer for Joelson but according to A Bola, they are “still far” from the player’s €45m (around £41m) release clause.
The report adds that the Emirates Stadium camp are “aware” that Sporting “need the money” and are trying to “test the patience” of the Primeira Liga side in hope of getting a yes.
Joelson has been tipped to be the next big talent to emerge from the Sporting ranks, following in the footsteps of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Nani and Ricardo Quaresma.
He has trained with the first team on a number of occasions for over a year and finally made his debut when the Primeira Liga restarted, going on to make three further appearances.
As reported by A Bola, Joelson’s agent is Kia Joorabchian, who has developed close ties to Arsenal in recent years, particularly since Raul Sanllehi joined the club.
Joelson, a player said to be “following in Ronaldo’s footsteps” (Goal.com), is an incredibly talented young attacker whose talents and potential have put him in the spotlight and in the shop window.
As has been reported, it looks as though there’s a battle going on between Arsenal and Sporting in terms of the former testing the waters and the latter resisting despite apparently being in financial difficulties.
£41m is certainly too big a sum for the Gunners to commit on a teenager when there are improvements they could be making across the squad, but it remains to be seen how this story develops.