Arsene Wenger is ready to go back for William Carvalho in the January transfer window as the Arsenal manager looks at options to ease the club's defensive midfield woes.
Carvalho was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer transfer window gone by, but a deal failed to materialise with the Portugal international ending up staying with Sporting Lisbon.
However, that has not ended Arsenal's interest in the midfielder, and Wenger is ready to make another firm move in January, according to the Sun.
Arsenal desperately need a defensive midfielder in their ranks, someone who is strong on the tackle and can cut out the counter-attacks, while being comfortable on the ball, and Carvalho certainly fits that bill quite nicely.
Also, Sporting Lisbon have reportedly bought out the entire rights of the player, which again points to the fact that a Premier League transfer could be in the offing for Carvalho, who has also been linked with a move to Manchester United .
The 22-year-old is the perfect Wenger signing – versatile (he can also play as a central defender) and young, someone the Arsenal manager can mould.
Arsenal were quite interested in signing Carvalho a few months back, but the deal broke down owing to third party issues and also because the two clubs were not able to agree on a fee.
While players usually come at a premium in January, Sporting might be ready to come down from the £37 million release clause, if they do indeed now hold the full rights of the player.
Much will depend on just how much Wenger will be willing to spend in the January transfer window, and if he deems Carvalho worth the price that has been quoted.
Wenger, though, has promised he will sign at least one player in January, and seeing that Arsenal desperately need a central defender and a defensive midfielder, he might look at Carvalho, who can play in both positions, as the ideal signing.
Having said that, though, the last thing that Arsenal need is another player having to cover in multiple positions. The ideal situation would be for Wenger to buy a proper central defender and a solid defensive midfielder.
Carvalho will be perfect for the latter role, but the signing will be fraught with danger if Wenger decides the player can fill both positions owing to the fact that he will be available only for a high transfer fee.