Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has turned his attentions to William Carvalho, and is increasingly confident he can sign the Portuguese midfielder from Sporting Lisbon this summer.
Carvalho has been linked with a move to the Premier League for quite a while now, with Arsenal and Manchester United reportedly the clubs most interested.
However, Sporting's insistence on any interested side playing the full release clause amount of about £37million has put off both clubs so far, but according to the Metro, Wenger is confident a deal can be done in this transfer window.
Arsenal have made a bid of around £20million already, and if Wenger can sign Carvalho for under £25m, it will be seen as a good deal.
Carvalho was one of the best, if not the best, players at the European U-21 Championships, leading Portugal to the final where they lost to Sweden on penalties. Ironically, Carvalho's penalty miss in the shootout proved to be decisive.
However, despite that disappointment, Carvalho, time and again, showed just why he is so highly rated, bossing the midfield for Portugal. The fact that he is 23-year-old playing in an U-21 tournament might have helped in that regard, but there were other players of the same age who could not quite make the same impact.
The holding midfielder has that unteachable ability to read the game and make timely interceptions, while also having the technical skills to find the right pass at the right time.
Despite the emergence of Francis Coquelin last season, Wenger is expected to sign another holding midfielder to add more depth to the squad, and, having changed his mind over the Morgan Schneiderlin deal, Carvalho seems to be the Arsenal manager's first-choice option.
Much will depend on just how low Sporting Lisbon are willing to go, as it is pretty clear none of the interested clubs are willing to pay £37m for Carvalho.
Last season, certain reports suggested Sporting would be willing to accept a big of around £24m, and that, if it remains the same this summer as well, should not be too much of a problem for Arsenal.
The Gunners have also been linked with Arturo Vidal and the Bender brothers – Lars and Sven – apart from Schneiderlin. Vidal is not the kind of midfielder that Arsenal require at the moment, while Carvalho is a lot younger than the two Benders, making the transfer of the Portuguese much more likely.