William Carvalho Sporting Lisbon
Arsenal have been handed a lifeline in their quest to bring in William Carvalho to the Emirates during this transfer windowReuters

Sporting Lisbon seem to have blinked first in their will-we-won't-we sell William Carvalho stakes, with the Portuguese club reportedly deciding time might be ripe to cash in on the powerful midfielder.

Carvalho has been the subject of interest from clubs around Europe, including English Premier League sides Arsenal and Manchester United, with the former reportedly having a £24 million bid turned down, while the latter have tracked the Portuguese international for quite a while.

Arsenal are in the market for a defensive-minded midfielder, someone who can give the team just that extra bit of steel in front of the defence, and after seeing a move for Sami Khedira stall, Arsene Wenger looked keen on making a move for Carvalho.

However, the £24 million offer fell short of Sporting's valuation of the player, with the 22-year-old having a release clause worth £37 million inserted into his current contract.

Sporting, though, are reportedly ready to listen to offers below the £37 million mark, as long as the interested clubs pay the entire amount up front.

And Arsenal, who still have plenty of cash lying around unused in their coffers, have been handed a big boost, with Portuguese newspaper Record reporting that Sporting had made the decision to sell Carvalho in this summer's transfer window to create some funds for player signings.

Wenger has already made four signings this summer, and that too four really good ones, bringing in Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, Mathieu Debuchy, as a direct replacement for Bacary Sagna, from Newcastle, David Ospina, to compete with Wojciech Szczesny in goal, from Nice and finally Calum Chambers, Wenger's always-needed young signing, from Southampton.

All Arsenal need to complete their squad before the start of the Premier League season is a centre-back and a defensive midfielder, and if Wenger can bring in Carvalho, who incidentally can also fill-in at the centre of the defence, then it will be a major step towards building a team capable of competing for all titles.

The question will be just how much Sporting accept for their player, because if Wenger and Arsenal can do a deal quickly, then the manager can integrate another new player with the rest of his side before the Premier League begins in a little over two weeks.

Apart from Khedira, Arsenal have also been linked with Morgan Schneiderlin and Lars Bender, but in Carvalho they certainly have a capable powerhouse midfielder who can give his back-four the protection they lacked so often last season, especially against the big teams.