Arsenal have reportedly seen a 32m euro (£29m) bid for Joelson Fernandes rejected but may try again with another offer later this week, according to A Bola.
The Portuguese outlet claims that the Gunners have made a second attempt to snap up the Sporting Lisbon wonderkid, having previously failed with a 20m euro (£18m) bid.
Sporting “declined the new offer almost immediately”, added A Bola, but according to a “well-placed source in the process”, Arsenal may still be back with another attempt this week.
The publication also claims that the Gunners “do not want to let Joelson escape” and “know that there are more clubs interested in signing the player”, who reportedly has a 45m euro release clause (£41m).
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.
Judging by the reports coming out, 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 Arsenal 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 and whether the Gunners manage to get him for a lower sum.