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Arsenal face expensive fight for Carvalho

ESPN staff
July 21, 2014
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Arsenal will have to pay an upfront fee of around £24 million for William Carvalho with Sporting Lisbon holding firm over negotiations for the midfielder.

Reports claim Arsenal saw a £24m bid rejected for Carvalho, who has also been pursued by Manchester United this summer, because they wanted to split the payment over two instalments.

Sporting only own 60% of the player, according to the Daily Telegraph and would are demanding a greater-than-usual proportion of the fee initially as a result. However, it is believed they would be prepared to negotiate a lower fee than the £35m buyout clause in Carvalho's contract.

Arsene Wenger is keen to bring in a defensive midfielder and while Carvalho has been on his radar for some time, he has also considered moves for Sami Khedira and Lars Bender this summer.

The manager's main priority has been signing a goalkeeper to provide competition for No.1 Wojciech Szczesny and has agreed a fee of around £3m with Nice for David Ospina, according to the French newspaper Nice Matin.

The Colombian is set to follow Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy, who both made permanent moves to the Emirates this summer.

Winger Sanchez could turned into a striker, in much the same way Wenger converted Thierry Henry from a wide player to frontman. Theo Walcott also likes to play centrally and is scheduled to return from injury at the end of August while Joel Campbell is back at the club following a loan stint at Olympiakos and could challenge for a place.

Wenger, therefore, has options for supporting and competing with Olivier Giroud and has no plans to sign another striker.

"Up front, we don't need any more," Wenger said, according to The Sun. "We need a keeper and then it depends how our midfielders get through without injuries until the season. Maybe at centre-back we'll bring one in."

Wenger had been linked to £16m-rated Mario Balotelli, whose future at AC Milan has become increasingly uncertain. However, AC Milan chief Adriano Galliani claims the club have not received an offer for the striker.

"Balotelli to Arsenal? There's no point in discussing rumours," Galliani said. "We've not received any offer from the English club and unless an email arrives, there's nothing."

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