• Premier League

Carvalho catching Wenger's eye as Khedira fears grow

ESPN staff
August 5, 2014
A defensive midfielder is a main priority for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger this summer © Getty Images

Arsenal are considering Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho as an alternative to Real Madrid's Sami Khedira as Arsene Wenger continues his hunt for a holding midfielder, according to reports.

Arsenal had been weighing up a move for Germany international Khedira, who has one year left on his current contract at the Bernabeu. However, it is thought the club holds concerns over the 27 year old's wage demands and injury record.

The Times claims Khedira would want around £170,000 a week in wages and seek a four-year contract were he to move to the Emirates and reunite with former Real team-mate Mesut Ozil.

Khedira missed most of last season with a serious knee injury sustained last November, but made an unexpected return to the Real side for their Champions League final victory over local rivals Atletico Madrid. It is believed he has missed 68 matches for the Spanish giants through injury since he joined them in 2010.

Instead, Arsenal are said to have reportedly turned their attentions to Carvalho, a former transfer target for both Manchester United and Premier League champions Manchester City. Carvalho is five years Khedira's junior and would cost them a fraction of the wages that the German would demand.

The Sun claims Carvalho currently earns £5,000 a week at Sporting, though he would be expected to cost a fee of around £24 million, the same price Khedira is valued at by Real.

Carvalho made his league debut for Sporting as a late substitute in 2011, but it was not until last season that he featured in Portugal's top division again, following two loan spells at Belgian club Cercle Brugge.

Last term, Carvalho made 29 league starts as Sporting finished second in the league, scoring four goals, and went on to feature in two of Portugal's three matches at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

Signing a holding midfielder has been a priority for Wenger during what has been a busy close season for the Frenchman.

Wenger has already spent around £60 million on Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Debuchy and David Ospina this transfer window - his highest ever outlay as Arsenal manager.

While the latter two are replacements for the departed Bacary Sagna and Lukasz Fabianski, Wenger is set to continue his spending spree with the need for a defensive-minded midfielder a main priority.

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